TODAY   |  April 16, 2014

Pistorius forensic expert re-enacts murder scene

The defense team in South Africa is played offense on Wednesday, trying to unravel the case against Oscar Pistorius.The athlete was back in his seat, again appearing sick in court.NBC national investigative correspondent Jeff Rossen reports.

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>>> but let's begin this half-hour with new developments at the murder trial of oscar pistorius . for the first time in more than a week, the olympic sprinter was not on the stand, but the case is far from over. "today" national investigative correspondent jeff rossen is in pretoria. good morning.

>> reporter: hey, carson. good morning to you. i've covered a lot of trials over the years, but i've never seen one quite like this. we have two completely different stories, and both of them, by the way, have holes. every day i talk to legal experts, i did just this morning, and not even they can make up their minds who's winning here at this point. this morning, the battle of the experts is on with dramatic courtroom demonstrations. oscar pistorius back in his seat today, head in hands, appearing sick again in court. as his forensic expert reenacted the scene.

>> he would come from that direction on the inside.

>> reporter: prosecutors say reeva steenkamp was screaming in there, as pistorius was shooting her. neighbors testified they heard it. but pistorius says not true. the neighbors didn't hear gunfire, they heard him screaming after the fact as he hit the door with this cricket bat .

>> i hit it like this, with the tip of the bat hitting the bottom panel.

>> reporter: the defense team even recorded their own sound test , hitting a similar door with a cricket bat . listen. then, they fired a gun at the door from the same distance away. listen to that. the defense claims they sound the same. those neighbors don't know what they heard. here's pistorius 's version in a nutshell. when he heard a noise, he immediately grabbed his gun underneath the bed. he took it out of the holster, telling reeva to call the police. pistorius was not wearing his prosthetic legs. he says he moved toward the bathroom, just before he got there, he heard the toilet door slam. putting his back against the wall for balance, his gun pointed in front of him, he peered around the corner into the bathroom and didn't see an intruder, but pointed his gun at the toilet room anyway. he says he heard a noise inside, thinking someone was coming out. so he fired four shots into the door. on cross-examination today, the prosecutor attacked the defense expert's credibility.

>> you're qualified as a geologist, am i right?

>> my first degree was in chemistry and geology.

>> i see that you're currently not affiliated to any forensic body.

>> that is, sir, my lady.

>> are you a blood spatter expert?

>> i have received no training in blood spatter analysis , my lady.

>> reporter: they don't call him the pit bull for nothing. this trial was originally slated to last three weeks. just to give you an update. we're now into week number seven of the case, so both sides have now requested a two-week break, starting tomorrow afternoon, to work on some other cases along with some planned family vacations. no one thought it would go on this long. this trial now, carson, will extend deep into may. no question about it now.

>> all right, jeff rossen , thank