Reeva Steenkamp’s parents have been “ruined” by their daughter’s death, a cousin testified during Oscar Pistorius’ sentencing hearing Wednesday. A tearful Kim Martin told the judge that the slain model "was everything" to June and Barry Steenkamp who are broken by her untimely death. "It's terrible," she said. "I'd say it's ruined our whole family." The emotional testimony, which caused the judge to briefly adjourn the hearing, was the first time the court has heard the impact the fatal shooting has had on the Steenkamps. Martin said the couple encouraged had her to be "Reeva's voice" at the hearing.
The Steenkamps were visibly moved during the testimony. June covered her face with her hands and Barry's hands appeared to shake as he sipped from a bottle of water. Pistorius kept his head bowed and covered his eyes as Martin detailed Reeva's dreams of empowering women. The cousin also told the court about the Steenkamps' money struggles. Earlier, it emerged Pistorius has been making monthly payments to them.
The week-long hearing which will to decide whether Pistorius will go to jail for culpable homicide — similar to manslaughter — for killing the 29-year-old law graduate in a hail of bullets at his home. The athlete told this trial he mistook her for an intruder.
- Cheryll Simpson and Christina Boyle
Reuters contributed to this report.