TODAY

TODAY   |  April 16, 2014

Lisa Bloom: Prosecutor had Pistorius ‘by the jugular’

TODAY’s legal analyst Lisa Bloom weighs in on the latest in Oscar Pistorius’ murder trial, and discusses several discrepancies in the athlete’s testimony.

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>> you. let's bring in lisa bloom , "today's" legal analyst. good morning.

>> good morning.

>> so oscar was on the hot seat for seven days. his credibility at stake. how did he do?

>> i think the pit bull had him by the jugular, carson. he changed the most important part of his story. remember, this is not a whodunit. we know he shot and killed her. the only question for the judge is why. what was in his mind? well, his story all along has been self-defense. he changed at the end of his cross-examination to accidental shooting. he says he doesn't even know why he shot. the gun just went off. it was in his hand. he doesn't even acknowledge that he intentionally pointed it at that bathroom door. i think that's a big change and i think that's a big problem for the defense.

>> what's behind the change, lisa? is it possible it's just severe exhaustion or was it a tactical move?

>> it could be one of those two. or the prosecution would say it's because he's lying, and after five days of that grueling cross-examination, asking him about every detail of the story, he just couldn't keep his story straight. i mean, i think any of us -- if we were coming up with a story and we were being grilled by this prosecutor, we would have a hard time keeping it straight.

>> what new problems does this bring up for his defense team?

>> i think they now have to consider which way they want to go. are they going to go with an accidental shooting theory? if so, do they want to call a ballistics expert to talk about how easily the gun could have gone off even if he didn't intend to pull the trigger, for example? and this new con wans should help them.

>> where do you go from here? you have maybe a dozen witnesses still to call. what's the strategy moving forward?

>> i think there's a couple things they can do. we don't know of any history that oscar pistorius has had of physical violence towards anyone, including reeva steenkamp. there's no evidence that he ever hit her, that he ever assaulted her. i think that helps him. more broadly, the culture of fear that exists in south africa . oscar pistorius says he was so terrified, there is an extraordinary amount of violent crime in south africa . i think they should be hitting on that theme.

>> all right. far from over. lisa bloom , thank you.