The trial of paralympian, Oscar Pistorius, continued into the eight day today. The athlete is being charged with deliberately fatally shooting his model girlfriend, Reeva Steenkamp in the early hours of Valentine’s Day in 2013. In addition, he will face further charges of discharging a firearm in public as well as illegally possessing ammunition. He argues that he shot her in error thinking that he was shooting at an intruder.
The trial opened today with IT Engineer and friend to Oscar, Darren Fresco giving evidence about the two incidents when Oscar had shot a gun in public. Of interest is the information that he provided about his sprinter friend driving a car at over 200 km/hour. He also spoke about how he had covered for Oscar during the Tasha’s shooting incident. This was at the suggestion of the athlete.
Fresco was released just before eight in the morning to make way for the man from the Forensic Science lab, Lieutenant Colonel Johannes Vermulean, who was appointed to establish if the marks on the door were indeed made by the cricket bat. He demonstrated in court how the bat could be used to produce the marks on the door. He observed that there were marks on the bat that it was used to beat down the door. Next, he focused on the height of the marks in relation to the door. He explained that if he were to produce similar marks on the door, he would have to be on his knees. The court at this point, adjourned and reconvened after some time.
After the break, the defence lawyer, Barry Roux came in to question the Lieutenant. The forensic scientist believes that the bat was used after the shots, based on the nature of marks the bat made on the door. This tallies with what Oscar said in his own statement. Next, the discussion turned to the fact that Oscar tried to kick the door. To this, Lt Col Vermulean said that he had not seen any evidence to the effect that Oscar had tried to kick the door. The court adjourned around one in the afternoon.
The big bone of contention that emerged from today’s discourse had to do with whether Oscar wore his prosthetics before or after the shooting, or was it that he had them on when he was trying to open the bathroom door with the cricket bat. According to Vermulean’s evidence, when he was beating the door down with the cricket bat, Oscar was on his stumps. An interesting observation is that the defence team under advocate Nel seems to be changing goal-posts with regards to this important issue. Vermulean will continue to testify tomorrow to see where the two sides will stand.