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    Oscar Pistorius Takes Stand, Cries in Court: "I Was Simply Trying to Protect" Reeva Steenkamp

    Oscar Pistorius himself took the stand during his trial on Monday and apologized to the family of his slain girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp.

    "I'd like to apologize and say there hasn't been a moment since this tragedy happened that I haven't thought about your family," a visibly emotional Pistorius said in court. "I wake up every morning and you're the first people I think of, the first people I pray for. I can't imagine the pain I've caused you and your family."

    Pistorius has always maintained that he mistook Steenkamp for an intruder when he fatally shot her through a bathroom door at his home on Valentine's Day 2013.

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    Oscar Pistorius THEMBA HADEBE/AFP/Getty Images

    "I was simply trying to protect her," the South African Olympic athlete said from the stand. "I can promise that when she went to bed that night, she felt loved. I have tried to put my words on paper many, many times, but no words would suffice."

    Pistorius revealed he is on anti-depressants and has taken sleeping pills ever since the tragedy took place.

    "I'm scared to sleep," he said. "I have terrible nightmares about things that happened that night. I can smell the blood and I wake up terrified."

    He added, "If I hear a noise, I wake up in a state of terror, so much so I cannot sleep. For many weeks I could not sleep. In March last year, I lost a lot of weight. I sought medical advice to start medication for sleeping."

    If convicted of premeditated murder, Pistorius could face a minimum of 25 years in prison. He could also get five years for each of the three gun indictments he has been charged with.

    Oscar Pistorius THEMBA HADEBE/AFP/Getty Images

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