Oscar Pistorius took the witness stand on Monday in South Africa and apologized to the family of Reeva Steenkamp for shooting her to death last year.
Weeping and speaking in a quavering voice, he described a life of insomnia and panic since the night of February 14, 2013, when he killed his girlfriend.
The double-amputee track star, 27, says it was a tragic error.
Investigators say otherwise, and he faces at least a 25-year sentence if convicted of premeditated murder in the shooting of the law graduate and model.
“I want to start by apologizing to Reeva’s family,” Oscar Pistorius said, barely able to answer his lawyer’s questions. “I was simply trying to protect Reeva.”
He has denied the murder charge, saying he believed he was shooting an intruder inside his home when he fired four rounds through a locked bathroom door.
Reeva Steenkamp, 29, was locked inside.