After testimony today the prosecutor, Gerrie Nel asked for the trial to be delayed until next week. Friday is a holiday in South Africa. There was testimony today from a ballistics expert who described how Reeva was standing in the bathroom when hit by the first bullets. He continued with how he felt the rest of the assault unfolded. As expected the defense badgered the officer but the officer stuck to his story. Pistorius put his fingers in his ears during this testimony.
On Tuesday the Captain of Police demonstrated how the bullets went through the bathroom door using lasers. Before he could compare the height of the entry holes with the height of Pistorius without his prosthetics they ran out of time. Most of today was spent with a police crime scene photographer. The defense caught him up when he pointed out there were two people shooting in the same room, after the photographer claimed he was alone. I don’t see this as a big win for the defense. The defense lawyer, Roux, also brought in a statement from another officer saying the blood evidence supports Pistorius’ version. For more here’s the link:
Monday Sean Rens, a firearms expert, said Pistorius had “a great love and enthusiasm” for guns. He spoke about how Pistorius went into ‘combat mode’ when he heard a noise in his house (in the laundry room). Rens also said Pistorius knew not to shoot at someone unless they had were approaching with a firearm. Apparently Pistorius had applied for licenses for six other guns. Also photos were shown of a couple of odd things found in the bedroom: “Testis Compositum” (for muscle recovery, fatigue and sex drive) and “Coenzyme Composition” (?) along with syringes. There were scuff marks on the end of his prosthetic limbs.
The defense scored some points today as the former police colonel, G.S. Van Rensburg, was on the stand. Rensburg described several problems that came up including a detective handling the gun without gloves, one of Pistorius’s watches went missing, and the bathroom door was supposed to have been bagged and sent to his office. Rensburg had to resign from the force in December for mishandling the door after 30 years as an officer. Roux (defense lawyer) also brought up the statements of three police officers whose accounts differed with Rensburg’s. When prosecutor Gerrie Nel ran through some photos Pistorius kept his head down.
Pistorius got sick again today (twice) when the pics of poor Reeva were shown briefly, prompting HLN’s Vinnie Politan to Tweet: “Do you believe he was really sick?” After yesterday’s witness finished up today about the damages to the bathroom door, there were 2 police investigators on the stand. First up was G.S. Van Rensberg, who arrived after the paramedics. Reeva was already dead. Photos were shown of the blood trail down the stairs and the gun as well as other evidence. Along with the cricket bat there was a key to the inner door of the bathroom. The second officer, Vermeulen, demonstrated how he believed Pistorius swung the bat against the door. He, like yesterday’s witness, also concluded that Pistorius was on his stumps. As expected the defense attorney Roux tried to discredit both officers.
The defense continued to try to rattle the first witness, neighbor Michelle Burger, without success. She stuck to her story that she heard a woman’s screams then gunshots. Her boyfriend testified to the same thing which the defense said was too close to the same story as the girlfriend. The girlfriend pointed out that they indeed heard the same thing- they were together. Burger’s husband, Chari Johnson, said he heard the screams then the shots. “I heard the lady scream again and the last scream faded moments after the last gunshot.” Another neighbor said she was awoken by loud voices. Prosecutor Gerrie Nel read from an expert’s report that the fourth shot was the fatal shot to Reeva’s head. At that point Pistorius clutched his head in his hands. For more on today’s testimony and some background on this case see the link below.
Here is one trial I have really been looking forward to: Oscar Pistorius for the murder of his girlfriend, Reeva Steenkamp. This guy has a history of being violent and shot his girlfriend through the bathroom door in the middle of the night. He thought she was a burglar! Really? How many burglars use the bathroom? Why didn’t he just reach over to see if she was still in the bed with him? He couldn’t yell through the bathroom door: “Honey are you in there?” before shooting multiple times? And he lives in a gated community where I have heard his house is like a fortress. Also witnesses heard a woman scream before the gunshots! Finally Pistorius claimed that he did not have time to put on his ‘blades’ before shooting but the cops think he did based on the trajectory of the bullets. He had plenty of time to see if she was in the bed and he had to reach under the bed to get the gun. Here is a photo of the beautiful 29 year old Reeva Steenkamp:
I think they fought and he thought she was going to dump him! The trial will be televised and begins March 3rd.