TODAY   |  April 14, 2014

Oscar Pistorius: ‘I did not fire at Reeva’

The athlete sparred with the prosecution about details of the night he shot his girlfriend as he began a second week on the stand. NBC national investigative correspondent Jeff Rossen reports from South Africa.

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>> let's begin this half-hour in south africa at the murder trial of oscar pistorius . he is beginning a second week on the stand. and once again, exchanges with the prosecution have been heated. "today's" national investigative correspondent jeff rossen is at the courthouse for us once again. jeff, good morning.

>> reporter: hey, savannah, good morning. welcome to a new week and that means new drama in court. these two men are locked in a bitter battle with everything on the line. we're watching it all happen. a delicate dance of semantics and name calling and traps. the prosecutor is trying to wear oscar pistorius down, and really tear his story apart. this morning, clear signs it may be working with pistorius making more mistakes while crying and screaming on the stand. oscar pistorius still has his fans.

>> we love you!

>> reporter: showing up today with trophies, balloons, even hugs for the man himself. why do you support oscar pistorius ?

>> because, he is a hero. he's my hero.

>> reporter: inside the courtroom, he broke down today.

>> i did not fire at reeva!

>> reporter: and the prosecutor pounced.

>> your version is so improbable that it cannot be reasonably possibly true.

>> reporter: pistorius 's version, he shot and killed reeva steenkamp by accident, that he heard a noise in the middle of the night , thought it was an intruder, and grabbed his gun.

>> i screamed, i said get the [ bleep ] out of my house. get the [ bleep ] out of my house."

>> reporter: but prosecutors call that a fabrication, exposing more inconsistencies in his story today. last week, he testified when he heard the possible intruder, he whispered to reeva to call the cops. today his version changed.

>> i didn't whisper, my lady.

>> if somebody would say that you whispered, that person would be lying.

>> that's right, my lady.

>> you know who that person is? because somebody said it.

>> no, my lady.

>> it's you. you said it.

>> then i made a mistake, my lady.

>> and there's more. pistorius says he and reeva went to sleep by 10:00 p.m . but her autopsy shows she ate food hours later, around 1:00 a.m ., and must have been awake.

>> mr. pistorius , this particular point i put to you is devastating for your version because it cannot -- it's an objective set of facts and it cannot fit into your version.

>> i don't have an explanation for the questions he's putting to me.

>> reporter: the prosecution theory, he shot her because they were fighting. they say reeva was a neat freak. so why were her jeans laying on the bedroom floor? it's proof the prosecutor says she was trying to get away from pistorius in a hurry.

>> she wanted to leave. and you weren't sleeping. you were both awake.

>> that's not correct, my lady. it's untrue.

>> and that there was an argument.

>> that's not true, my lady.

>> reporter: how damaging is this for oscar?

>> oscar being caught lying whilst testifying is deadly for him.

>> reporter: even while they're small details?

>> they might seem small, but the judge will consider that at the end of the matter when she considers the bigger issues and his credibility.

>> reporter: for the prosecution, this cross-examination extremely important. that's why it's going on so long. yes, pistorius admits to shooting and killing reeva, but remember, police have no hard evidence that they were fighting that night or what they were even fighting about. it is just a theory they need to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that he wanted to kill who was behind that door, whether it was reeva or the intruder. legal experts say this is not a slam dunk for either side yet, guys.

>> all right, jeff rossen at the courthouse. thank you very