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Oscar Pistorius Bail Hearing: Day One

 photo Pistoriusbail260_zpsbae566ca.jpg

Update: The bail hearing is continued until tomorrow at 9:00 am (South Africa time). It will be live-streamed to an overflow courtroom for reporters. Prosecutors will provide the defense additional discovery. Both sides want to present more evidence.

Details: After the prosecution finished its argument and the parties debated premeditation, the judge stated he cannot rule out premediation and the bail hearing would proceed as a class six offense of premeditated murder, making the test for bail a showing of exceptional circumstances. But he also said he may change his mind after all the evidence is in and reduce it to a class five offense, which requires a lesser showing that bail is in the interests of justice.

The defense then presented its case. [More...]

Oscarís lawyer read an affidavit from Oscar outlining what happened. Oscars sobbed throughout and the hearing had to be stopped a few times.

The actual Affidavit is here. CNN has reprinted it here.

The defense then read affidavits of friends as to the strength and closeness of the coupleís relationship.

Prosecutors will respond to Oscarís affidavit tomorrow, after consulting with their Investigative Officer, Hilton Botha, whom they are likely to call as a witness. The defense may present more evidence as well.

Original Post:

It was media bedlam outside the Pretoria courthouse this morning for Oscar Pistorius's bail hearing. Photos here and here. Only 26 journalists were allowed inside the courtroom. The hearing is now underway.

Who to follow for live-tweets: @Alex Crawford, @Barry Bateman, @Karen Maughan, @David Smith, and @BBC. An assemblage of live tweets from 24 News is here and the Guardian here.

The prosecutor, Garrie Nel, opens with: Oscar Pistorius shot an unarmed woman who was inside a toilet. He fired four shots, three killed the woman. She was shot three times through the bathroom door, then Oscar carried her downstairs. Oscar is sobbing as he listens to the prosecutor.

Prosecutor Nel says pre-meditation does not require pre-planning -- it's enough if Oscar considered his actions. He says claiming Reeva was an intruder was part of the plan. (A little inconsistent reporting here by two of the reporters: if he's arguing no plan is needed, why argue the intruder was part of a plan?)

Did the prosecutor really just stick up for "defense-less burglars?" And are judges in South Africa really addressed as "Your Worship"?

The Prosecutor says Oscar got up, put on his prostheses and walked 7 meters to fire the gun.

The prosecution is done for now, it's Oscar's turn. His lawyer, David Roux, says Oscar has no prior convictions. He says it was an accident. Just because she was in the bathroom doesn't mean he didn't think she was an intruder. Roux says Oscar broke down the toilet door to get to her and help her. He shot first and then broke down the door and discovered his mistake. (Another discrepancy in reporting? Why would his lawyer say he broke down the door to help her if he didn't know it was her?)

Roux says he will show lots of cases where a husband shot a wife through a door. He says there may be evidence of an argument earlier, but that's neither evidence of murder nor premeditation. Oscar is sobbing again.

Are reporters tweeting too fast? Bateman reports Roux told the court "Roux we know as everyday people take refuge to toilets when in intrude in house."

Oscar is going to testify and tell everything that happened that night. The judge just warned him about perjury.

The defense finishes its opening, the prosecutor is up again. He says he's even more convinced this was premeditated murder.

The prosecutor says if she just "had an urge" she wouldn't have locked the door.

The lawyers are now arguing over the definition of premeditation. The prosecutor reads from the dictionary. The defense argues there's a difference between intent and premeditation. "If I pick up a firearm and I want to shoot you between the eyes, that's not premeditated, it's intended."

As I explained here, the defense wants the Court to view the case as a Category 5 offense rather than Category 6 (premeditation) because the rules for bail are more stringent for a Category 6 offense.

Roux asks how the prosecutor could know Oscar got up and put on his prostheses if there are no witnesses?

Andrew Harding of the BBC says the defense is much more forceful than the prosecution.

2:00 am MT: Court breaks for 20 minutes, I'm going to bed. For updates, follow the tweeters mentioned above.

****

The Pistorius legal team will present testimony from its forensic expert Reggie Perumal. A projector has been set up for a powerpoint and he came into court carrying a large map.

This is Oscar's brother Carl, who is at court, as are Oscar's father and sister. They sure look alike.

 photo pistoriocarl1_zpsd7e3881d.jpg

The Magistrate Desmond Nair just threatened photojournalists with contempt of court if they publish pictures of Oscar taken inside the court like they did on Friday.

< Oscar Pistorius Bail Hearing Today | Supreme Court Upholds Dog Search >
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  • Display: Sort:
    Evidence at a Bail Hearing (5.00 / 1) (#2)
    by RickyJim on Tue Feb 19, 2013 at 07:37:08 AM EST
    What a good idea to discuss the nitty-gritty of the evidence with testimony, in court, so early in a high profile case!  It certainly gives the public an idea of how justified the prosecution is in pressing charges.  Contrast that with what happened in a certain recent high profile case in Florida where the impression was given that the decision to prosecute was purely political.

    Funny thing about "impressions" (5.00 / 1) (#4)
    by Yman on Tue Feb 19, 2013 at 09:09:52 AM EST
    They're so subjective.

    Parent
    pre-trial publicity is not (none / 0) (#13)
    by Jeralyn on Tue Feb 19, 2013 at 11:49:29 AM EST
    considered important in South Africa since there is no jury.

    Parent
    Jury Means No Preliminary Hearing? (none / 0) (#15)
    by RickyJim on Tue Feb 19, 2013 at 12:00:35 PM EST
    It seems that Colorado recently made them mandatory for serious offenses so that state doesn't see the harm.

    Parent
    Colorado has always has preliminary hearings (none / 0) (#16)
    by Jeralyn on Tue Feb 19, 2013 at 12:02:30 PM EST
    Several years ago it changed to only requiring them for class 3 felonies and higher. Please stick to this case.

    Parent
    Please Contrast (none / 0) (#17)
    by RickyJim on Tue Feb 19, 2013 at 12:18:32 PM EST
    what happened in Pistorius' hearing in Pretoria with what would have happened if it was a Colorado preliminary hearing.  TIA.

    Parent
    No, Colorado is irrelevant (none / 0) (#23)
    by Jeralyn on Tue Feb 19, 2013 at 02:06:39 PM EST
    Ahhh, that's it (none / 0) (#52)
    by Trickster on Tue Feb 19, 2013 at 06:55:59 PM EST
    I was wondering why both sides, and particularly the Pistorius family, seem so keen to try this matter in the press.

    Parent
    Wait. He knew she was in the house?... (5.00 / 2) (#5)
    by unitron on Tue Feb 19, 2013 at 09:16:32 AM EST
    ...Seriously?

    That makes shooting through the door incredibly stupid regardless of on which side of it he was.

    And I'm surprised he broke down the door instead of shooting out the lock.

    I know this isn't a U.S. case, but I really wish the FF's had included an "unless they're idiots" clause in the 2nd Amendment.

    If dude panicked and shot his girlfriend (5.00 / 1) (#28)
    by vicndabx on Tue Feb 19, 2013 at 02:42:12 PM EST
    I feel extremely sorry for him.

    But sorrier for her. (5.00 / 3) (#47)
    by Dr Molly on Tue Feb 19, 2013 at 05:12:44 PM EST
    For sure (5.00 / 1) (#58)
    by vicndabx on Tue Feb 19, 2013 at 07:23:28 PM EST
    Home invasions are not uncommon ... (none / 0) (#1)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Tue Feb 19, 2013 at 04:19:59 AM EST
    ... in South Africa. One thing that struck me when we were in Johannesburg and Pretoria (which are right next to one another) in November 2010 was that the majority of private residences in those cities' better-off neighborhoods are surrounded by tall stone / brick walls topped with electrified barbed wire fencing. Even Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu's family residence in the upscale Sandton district of Johannesburg looks the equivalent of a suburban fortress.

    Personal security is a very real concern throughout the country. The problem isn't as bad as it was in the mid-to-late 1990s after majority rule first took effect, but the cities suffer from 20% unemployment, so armed robbery and hijacking is still a real issue.

    Do we have the content of his affidavit? (none / 0) (#3)
    by leftwig on Tue Feb 19, 2013 at 08:57:20 AM EST
    ITs difficult to figure out the source of information being put out there, but I believe he submitted an affidavit today, giving his account of what happened.  Here is some of what is being reported on that"

    "His version of the tragic events of the early hours of Valentine's Day morning were that he had left the bed he and Steenkamp shared to get fresh air on his balcony. According to the affidavit, as he came back inside he became aware of a noise from the bathroom, which he believed to be an intruder, and put on stumps instead of his prosthetic legs. Pistorius said he felt vulnerable without his prosthetics and was also worried because the window in the bathroom did not have burglar bars.

    After firing through the door, Pistorius claimed, he subsequently realized that Steenkamp was no longer in bed and the truth dawned on him that he had shot his girlfriend. According to Pistorius, he broke down the door with a cricket bat and then telephoned for medical help."

    I am trying to reserve judgment until all information is available, but my very first thought upon hearing something that I think might be an intruder would be to make sure my loved ones were secure.  Also, if the noise is coming from a bathroom, that I can't see into, I'd want to make sure it wasn't my GF in there.  Given the nature of reporting nowadays, there could be some misinformation in here and I am sure there is more information to come.

    Yes, the affidavit is (none / 0) (#24)
    by Jeralyn on Tue Feb 19, 2013 at 02:07:19 PM EST
    If this is a made-up lie (none / 0) (#53)
    by Trickster on Tue Feb 19, 2013 at 06:58:22 PM EST
    It wasn't well thought through.

    As the prosecutor points out, that's not justifiable homicide even if it was a burglar. We're left with the idea of (1) Your girlfriend is over for the night, (2) you hear noises in the bathroom in the middle of the night, and therefore (3) you pump the bathroom full of lead, no questions asked. This is not a story that makes me sympathetic.

    Parent

    hopefully this link works better (none / 0) (#8)
    by leftwig on Tue Feb 19, 2013 at 09:48:15 AM EST
    I know you've been told this before, (none / 0) (#9)
    by Anne on Tue Feb 19, 2013 at 09:57:48 AM EST
    but you need to present your links using the tools above the comment box, otherwise, they can skew the site.

    Easiest way:

    Highlight the link you want to copy, right click and select "copy" or "copy link location."

    Return to the comment box.  

    Highlight the words you wish to contain the hyperlink.

    Go to the link button that appears between the "U" and the envelope, and click on it.  When the box appears, paste your copied link into it, then click okay.

    You should see html code surrounding the words of your comment that you selected.  

    If you hit the Preview button, you should see those words now appearing as a link.  Like this.

    Check it by right-clicking on it and opening it in a new window to make sure it takes people where you want them to go.

    If it all looks good, go ahead and post.

    Parent

    CNN has the full (none / 0) (#11)
    by SuzieTampa on Tue Feb 19, 2013 at 11:02:07 AM EST
    thank you Anne (none / 0) (#14)
    by Jeralyn on Tue Feb 19, 2013 at 11:51:52 AM EST
    yes, links must be in html format because long ones skew the site. I can't edit comments, only delete them.

    Parent
    I Can't Imagine... (none / 0) (#10)
    by ScottW714 on Tue Feb 19, 2013 at 10:47:12 AM EST
    ...him making sure that the woman who shared his bed was not the noise behind the door.  Or at the very least, waken her to let her know they were in danger so she can prepare.

    What kind of prosthetics does this guy have ?  He was able to put them on before his gf finishes in the bathroom, then he accurately fires a gun, breaks down a door, and carries his gf downstairs.

    To me a person who fires a gun at an unknown noise and kills or injures someone they didn't intend to, is guilty of something.  Even if this was accident, you can't just decide any noise is a bad guy and fire away.  It's extremely reckless and in this case, it was lethal.

    I find it very hard to believe he yelled in the middle of the night, possibly twice, and his gf didn't respond.

    Scott, I agree (none / 0) (#12)
    by SuzieTampa on Tue Feb 19, 2013 at 11:36:13 AM EST
    I assume someone will test whether the bedroom is really so dark at night that when Pistorius returned to the bed to retrieve his gun that he couldn't see whether Steenkamp was in bed or not, and didn't think to explain his actions. In other words, he didn't think to tell her that he thought someone was in the bathroom and he was getting his gun.

    My eyesight is so bad that I can't find my glasses if I don't put them in the usual places, but I've never not been able to tell if someone was in bed or not.

    If Pistorius felt vulnerable on his stumps, why wouldn't he first put on his prosthetics before going after a burglar? When he was still in the bedroom, he didn't know if the person was still in the bathroom or not.

    Did the coroner notice whether Steenkamp had residue on her from using the toilet? In other words, was she in the process of urinating/defecating? If not, one might wonder if she had locked herself in the toilet to escape from him.

    Did she not notice the open bathroom window and worry? Did she always lock the toilet door? Couples don't usually do that with one another.

    When he first screamed out about an intruder in the house, she didn't make a sound? Did she make no sound when he first shot her or did he shoot so quickly that she didn't have time to make a sound?

    When he went back to the bedroom, could he suddenly see better in the pitch-dark or did he have to feel around to see if she was in bed?

    As he was screaming for help, trying to kick in the toilet door, rushing back to the bathroom, did she make no sound? In other words, he didn't know it was her until he was able to break down the door with the bat. He may say that there was so much blood everywhere that that's how the bat got blood on it. Was there any tissue residue on it?

    He says she died in his arms. Was she never able to utter a sound after she was shot? He doesn't mention it. Did he say anything to anyone at the time?

    Even though the initial facts seem really suspicious to me, I think he'll be freed unless more evidence comes out.

    Parent

    Was anything mentioned about the cricket bat? (none / 0) (#18)
    by magster on Tue Feb 19, 2013 at 12:43:40 PM EST
    The one that supposedly had blood on it?

    He mentioned that (none / 0) (#19)
    by leftwig on Tue Feb 19, 2013 at 01:06:53 PM EST
    after going back into the bedroom to put on his prosthetic legs that he grabbed the bat to break into the locked toilet door.  He smashed out a panel on the door and unlocked it.  I don't know what DNA is on the bat, but I assume the defense will say any DNA on it got there after the shooting.


    Parent
    No forensice were presented (none / 0) (#25)
    by Jeralyn on Tue Feb 19, 2013 at 02:11:13 PM EST
    about the bat. He says he used it to hit the door after realizing she must be in the bathroom. Her blood could have gotten on it when he carried her out of the bathroom. There was no mention of injuries to her skull as reported earlier by the media.

    Parent


    Sounds plausible to me (none / 0) (#26)
    by Jeralyn on Tue Feb 19, 2013 at 02:19:23 PM EST
    as it did to at least some reporters in the courtroom. One called his version compelling. So did the BBC Reporter, who added that the journalist sitting next to him said to him "It just sounds true." (Most didn't say one way or the other.)

    Parent
    there was more testimony tomorrow. Maybe that will answer some of my questions.

    Parent
    We don't have enough information yet, but (none / 0) (#30)
    by leftwig on Tue Feb 19, 2013 at 02:53:08 PM EST
    from just his statement (no other information from the press or any information compiled by investigators), I'd say his story is possible, but I don't necessarily find it plausible.  IF the prosecution has nothing, I could see the explanation causing enough doubt to get him acquitted of premeditated murder, but I'd think he'd have trouble with a wrongful death lawsuit.

    He's worried about his safety and his GF's, but he doesn't disturb her sleep to let her know she might be in danger?  He can see well enough to grab a gun and make his way into the bathroom, but it was too dark to see whether his GF was in bed (he didn't say he didn't look, he said it was too dark to tell)?  He thinks an intruder would climb through a second story window and lock himself into a toilet closet, but doesn't even consider that his GF might have gotten up and gone to the bathroom?  I can see someone maybe shutting the toilet door when using it, but why would a GF sharing a bed with a man lock the toilet door?  He yells a warning, but the GF in the toilet doesn't make a sound to let him know its her behind the door?

    Parent

    he did yell to her twice (none / 0) (#36)
    by Jeralyn on Tue Feb 19, 2013 at 03:36:38 PM EST
    You ask, "He's worried about his safety and his GF's, but he doesn't disturb her sleep to let her know she might be in danger? "

    From his statement:

    On my way to the bathroom I screamed words to the effect for him/them to get out of my house and for Reeva to phone the police. It was pitch dark in the bedroom and I thought Reeva was in bed.

    ,,,I fired shots at the toilet door and shouted to Reeva to phone the police.

    Parent

    He said after grabbing his gun and making (5.00 / 1) (#40)
    by leftwig on Tue Feb 19, 2013 at 03:59:17 PM EST
    his way toward the bathroom he yelled out to the intruder, then to his GF to call police.  What I am questioning is why at the moment he had this feeling of fear that his life and his GF's life might be in danger would he not wake up his GF to let her know she might be in danger before making his way toward the bathroom and before yelling out to whomever was in the bathroom?  The order of events doesn't make sense to me.  Possible?  Yes.  Plausible given the circumstances outlined?  Doesn't seem reasonable to me.  He obviously wasn't worried about making noise and being quiet since he yells out to the intruder, so why not quietly wake your GF and let her know whats going on before doing so?  The gun was under the bed, so she wouldn't have been far away.


    Parent
    Dunno about you, but (5.00 / 1) (#41)
    by Peter G on Tue Feb 19, 2013 at 04:21:48 PM EST
    I am not always at my most rational when (a) just awakened from a sound sleep; and/or (b) in a state of fear bordering on panic.  And I have been wrong, upon awakening at night for some reason, about whether my wife was or was not also in our bed at that time.

    Parent
    Note (none / 0) (#44)
    by ScottW714 on Tue Feb 19, 2013 at 04:55:05 PM EST
    He was out on his balcony and apparently without his legs.  He was awake when he heard the noise.

    Parent
    Ok, you have convinced me to stop (none / 0) (#61)
    by Peter G on Tue Feb 19, 2013 at 08:34:56 PM EST
    thinking about this until after we know the facts, that is, after the judge determines the facts from the conflicting evidence.

    Parent
    To clarify (none / 0) (#46)
    by SuzieTampa on Tue Feb 19, 2013 at 05:04:47 PM EST
    OP had not just been awakened by noise in the bathroom. In fact, he doesn't say that anything in particular had awakened him. Maybe he was already awake when he decided to go outside on the balcony, retrieve the fan and close the sliding-glass doors.

    I agree, of course, that people can do all kinds of things in a panic.

    Other questions: I wonder why Steenkamp opened the bathroom window before locking herself in the toilet closet. Because if the workers had left it open, surely they would have noticed it earlier.

    If OP was so worried about security, why did he let the workers leave ladders going up to the bathroom window, which he knew was unsecured?

    Parent

    Maybe she was afraid of him, (5.00 / 1) (#62)
    by oculus on Tue Feb 19, 2013 at 08:43:01 PM EST
    locked herself in the bathroom, and opened the window to escape.

    Parent
    Hey (none / 0) (#64)
    by CoralGables on Tue Feb 19, 2013 at 09:20:22 PM EST
    Don't go taking a reasonable approach. Maybe he was just standing his ground.

    Parent
    unfortunately (none / 0) (#65)
    by Jeralyn on Tue Feb 19, 2013 at 09:36:00 PM EST
    South Africa doesn't appear to have a stand your ground or make my day law. I think you should be able to shoot an intruder in your house.

    No discussion of personal views of gun control in this thread please, it's off topic.

    The murder rate in South Africa has been declining in recent years. Even though prosecutors now charge DUI fatalities as premeditated murder instead of culpable homicide.

    Parent

    The Problem... (none / 0) (#68)
    by ScottW714 on Thu Feb 21, 2013 at 03:13:26 PM EST
    ...is he didn't shoot an intruder.

    I agree, people should be able to shot an intruder in their place of residence.  But that comes with the some responsibility, like making sure you know what you are shooting and for people who live in populated areas.apartments, making sure a stray bullet doesn't hit the neighbor.

    That is gun ownership/safety 101, be absolutely sure of your target, and what is behind it.

    Parent

    the point is, if you mistakenly kill someone (none / 0) (#69)
    by Jeralyn on Thu Feb 21, 2013 at 09:26:50 PM EST
    you thought was an intruder, it shouldn't be premeditated murder which renders bail so difficult. He can be held legally liable for his mistake but it shouldn't be treated as premeditated murder.

    Consider this guy in South Africa who was driving drunk, killed 5 joggers prepping for the marathon and injured another. He is a civil engineer, with a wife and home in the U.S.  He's charged with five counts of murder. Bail: the prosecutors didn't even object. This week the judge even gave him his drivers' license back.

    See here and here and here

    Senior public prosecutor Kas Sami-Kistnan said despite the seriousness of the offence, the state did not oppose bail because Langa did not have previous convictions or outstanding warrants. He has a house in California where his wife and children live.


    Parent
    That's a good point about... (none / 0) (#48)
    by magster on Tue Feb 19, 2013 at 05:53:25 PM EST
    ... why would she lock the door if all was well between them?

    A live in paramour wouldn't be worried about someone seeing them pee in the middle of the night. Was she clothed or in the middle of bathrooming when she was shot?

    Parent

    Hearing Resumes Wednesday (none / 0) (#21)
    by RickyJim on Tue Feb 19, 2013 at 01:28:14 PM EST
    Maybe we will find out then why Pistorius was sure Reeva was in bed instead of the toilet.

    Huh. That's exactly one of the things (none / 0) (#22)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Tue Feb 19, 2013 at 01:30:14 PM EST
    about his story that was bugging me. Didn't realize that the hearing was not finished.

    Parent
    because that's where she was when (none / 0) (#27)
    by Jeralyn on Tue Feb 19, 2013 at 02:28:47 PM EST
    he left to go close the sliding screen door to the balcony and bring the fan in. He explains here.

    Parent
    Jeralyn, I'm curious why you included (none / 0) (#29)
    by oculus on Tue Feb 19, 2013 at 02:45:20 PM EST
    the  photo of defendant's brother.

    Because (none / 0) (#31)
    by Jeralyn on Tue Feb 19, 2013 at 03:14:51 PM EST
    At the time I posted it, court hadn't begun but the arrival of his brother was indicative that his family supported him and would attend the hearing. As it has turned out, Carl was actively involved at hearing, sitting next to Oscar to console him at times, at the request of Oscar's lawyer. Other times he hugged him from behind when he broke down. Also, as I said, I was struck by the physical resemblance.

    Parent
    Also see (none / 0) (#34)
    by Jeralyn on Tue Feb 19, 2013 at 03:25:58 PM EST
    here and here. Reuters has also featured his photo.

    Parent
    I don't understand why (none / 0) (#32)
    by shoephone on Tue Feb 19, 2013 at 03:20:46 PM EST
    he dragged her body down the stairs. Why would he do that? SO much of this story doesn't make sense to me.

    to get her into the car (none / 0) (#35)
    by Jeralyn on Tue Feb 19, 2013 at 03:32:50 PM EST
    to take her to the hospital.

    I battled to get her out of the toilet and pulled her into the bathroom. I phoned Johan Stander ("Stander") who was involved in the administration of the estate and asked him to phone the ambulance. I phoned Netcare and asked for help. I went downstairs to open the front door.

    I returned to the bathroom and picked Reeva up as I had been told not to wait for the paramedics, but to take her to hospital. I carried her downstairs in order to take her to the hospital. On my way down Stander arrived. A doctor who lives in the complex also arrived. Downstairs, I tried to render the assistance to Reeva that I could, but she died in my arms.



    Parent
    OK, thanks (none / 0) (#38)
    by shoephone on Tue Feb 19, 2013 at 03:46:12 PM EST
    To clarify further (none / 0) (#37)
    by SuzieTampa on Tue Feb 19, 2013 at 03:43:44 PM EST
    He said he dragged her out of the toilet area, but that he carried her downstairs.

    Parent
    Some Problems with Pistorius' Affidavit (none / 0) (#39)
    by RickyJim on Tue Feb 19, 2013 at 03:57:27 PM EST
    1. Says he was too scared to turn on the light in his bedroom but not afraid to give away his location by screaming at supposed intruders.

    2. In the pitched darkness, finds his 9mm Parabellum underneath his bed but doesn't notice, check on or say anything to Reeva who he thought was in the bed.

    3. Didn't pause to check out why, when Reeva didn't reply to his plea to call police.

    4. Apparently the open door to the bathroom was inside his locked bedroom.  He says he could see in the pitched darkness that the window in bathroom was open, the toilet door was closed, but Riva didn't answer his yells and he didn't see she wasn't in bed.

    Now that's just for starters.

    And... (none / 0) (#43)
    by ScottW714 on Tue Feb 19, 2013 at 04:45:24 PM EST
    ...that she didn't respond after he screamed for whoever it was to get out, and for her to call the police.

    Why didn't he tell her to call the police when was grabbing his gun from under the mattress, why did he wait until he was out of the room to do that ?

    That being said, why would he lie about that, if he killed her, why make-up that line.  If they were fighting and he yelled for her to get out, it makes sense to make-up that part of the story.  But call the cops ?

    A lot of things don't make sense, but they also don't make sense from the view that it was intentional.  Why tell the cops the gun is under the mattress if your story includes not knowing she wasn't in bed.  Why not put it in the dresser or the nightstand ?

    I also want to know if it was normal for him to be on the balcony w/o his legs.  It seems odd to me, and maybe because I have legs, to go to a balcony, which was probably taller than him without his legs. But then again, it would be just as odd to me for him to be fighting with his gf without them.

    Parent

    that wakes me up and/or concerns me, the first thing I do is check to see if the person who sleeps next to me is still there or is the person making the noise.

    Again, however, we'll see what the defense says tomorrow about that.

    Parent

    Correct, (5.00 / 1) (#51)
    by NYShooter on Tue Feb 19, 2013 at 06:17:03 PM EST
    Certainly, all the questions being posed about why he did this, or didn't do that, have been thought through by O.P. by now. And, I'm quite sure he has answers for most (all) of them. Whether they're believable, or not, we'll just have to wait until it all comes out in due time.

    In a way, this is proceeding sort of like the O.J. Simpson case. After hearing Marcia Clark's opening remarks I thought, "why bother with a trial; he's guilty beyond any doubt."  Then, after listening to Johnnie Cochran's opening statement, I felt like, " why are they persecuting this guy, he's as innocent as a new born baby."

    Accusations sure sound damning, but your feelings can do a quick 180 with a believable defense, and/or a powerful, plausible cross examination.


    Parent

    I wonder if they sleep together oftenn (none / 0) (#54)
    by Trickster on Tue Feb 19, 2013 at 07:08:53 PM EST
    This one was apparently impromptu.

    If he sleeps alone 99% of the time, it would make more sense for him not to check the other side of the bed. He's not used to looking there.

    Parent

    Why would she lock the door to bathroom? (none / 0) (#56)
    by magster on Tue Feb 19, 2013 at 07:16:37 PM EST
    I just don't see a GF in a happy relationship being overly modest in the middle of the night.

    Parent
    Plenty of people who are sexually intimate (none / 0) (#60)
    by Peter G on Tue Feb 19, 2013 at 08:32:39 PM EST
    nevertheless have bathroom modesty.

    Parent
    Shut the door, OK. (none / 0) (#66)
    by leftwig on Tue Feb 19, 2013 at 10:59:35 PM EST
    Lock the door?  I dunno.  I'm a bit on the modest side myself and even though I've been married almost 9 years, I still shut the door to the toilet when my wife is in the bathroom.  I've never once locked it. I guess it could have been accidental depending on the type of door handle/lock combination.

     

    Parent

    Why would he lie? (none / 0) (#49)
    by leftwig on Tue Feb 19, 2013 at 06:05:39 PM EST
    Not saying this was his thought process, but its possible they had some sort of argument and he needed a way to explain any yelling that neighbors might have heard.  He said he shouted out to intruders then to her.  Later, after realizing he shot her, he put his prosthetic legs on and opened the patio door and yelled outside for help.  Again, this seemed odd that he would at that point go open the sliding door and yell out anonymously to the neighborhood for help. Seems like both statements could be used as cover in case someone happened to be awake around that time and hear shouting coming out of their open patio door.

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    leftwig (none / 0) (#59)
    by Jack203 on Tue Feb 19, 2013 at 08:08:07 PM EST
    were thinking alike.  I thought the same thing about the screaming.  

    Things are looking bleak for Oscar at the moment. His story is very suspicious.

    Unlike GZ, there are serious holes in the logic of his version of events.

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    S. African law on murder (none / 0) (#42)
    by SuzieTampa on Tue Feb 19, 2013 at 04:37:40 PM EST
    The prosecutor has been quoted saying, "And he added that even if Steenkamp had been an intruder, the shooting would still have been the murder of a burglar."

    In another story I read, Nel explained that OP would have known that if he shot multiple times into a small, closet-sized room, it would kill whoever was in there. So, I'm wondering if South Africa has its own Castle Doctrine or not. In other words, if you have an intruder trapped in a small space, can you shoot them and be  acquitted because of self-defense?

    Rachel Jewkes of the South African Medical Research Council says domestic violence is huge in the country. She also says that the murder rate has dropped 50% since 1999.

    I think politics of one sort or another are always involved in cases involving famous people. Valentine's Day brought the One Billion Rising movement against domestic violence. On the same day, the media reported:

    Brutality and cruelty meted out to women was unacceptable and had no place in South Africa, President Jacob Zuma said in Cape Town on Thursday evening, directing the country's law enforcement agencies to treat such cases with the utmost urgency.
    Whether you think OP is guilty or not, you can bet that this case will be a touchstone for discussions of domestic violence.

    So far there is no evidence of (none / 0) (#55)
    by Jeralyn on Tue Feb 19, 2013 at 07:09:13 PM EST
    domestic violence. I also don't expect there to be any.

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    A few things (5.00 / 1) (#63)
    by BDB on Tue Feb 19, 2013 at 09:13:41 PM EST
    1). There have been allegations regarding OP and women for yers.  Are they true? I have no idea but they are out there.

    2). South Africa has a shocking number of women killed every year by their intimate partner.   It averages something like 3 a day in a country with only 50 million people.  That's extraordinarily high and reflects, unsurprisingly a larger cultural problem with domestic violence.

    3) RS was an outspoken advocate for victims of domestic violence, including intimate partner killings.  She was allegedly murdered by her intimate partner.  Even if in the end Oscar is acquitted, I think it's quite likely her death will shine a stronger light on South Africa's domestic violence problem.  

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    No evidence, but . . . (none / 0) (#57)
    by Trickster on Tue Feb 19, 2013 at 07:17:31 PM EST
    Police say there have been "incidents `of a domestic nature."

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    No evidence of DV (none / 0) (#67)
    by SuzieTampa on Tue Feb 19, 2013 at 11:18:38 PM EST
    Jeralyn, if OP murdered her, that would be domestic violence. I'm assuming you mean that you don't believe any of the evidence against him.

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