Oscar Pistorius Trial

I've been watching the Oscar Pistorius trial live on the internet since it began Monday. They are still on the first witness.

The format of the trial is different than in the U.S. In South Africa, the defendant has the right to make a statement addressing the charges at the beginning, before the state gives an opening argument. Oscar's lawyer read a detailed statement, in the first person as if Oscar was speaking, refuting the charges paragraph by paragraph. He went through the facts of what happened, and it was much like what the affidavit from the bail hearing. (The only difference I could discern was that he said Oscar went to the balcony to bring two fans back. In the bail application, they said there was one fan.) [More...]

The prosecutor then read into the record a list of agreed to exhibits (photos from the autopsy, photos from the crime scene, a report showing Oscar had no drugs or steroids in his system, etc.)

Then he said he was calling his first witness, and the Judge, sounding a bit surprised, asked him whether he wanted to make an opening statement. He responded something like, "If you want me to, I will." He proceeded to then give a very short and very weak statement. He said there were no eyewitnesses to the crime and his case was based on circumstantial evidence and inferences. He said from the inferences and circumstances, Oscar's version couldn't be true. That was it. Then he called the first witness.

The witness, a teacher named Michelle Burger who lives in the complex next to the complex where Oscar lives, said she was asleep and woke up. She heard a woman scream. Then she heard a man scream three times. Her husband went out to the balcony, and she told him to come in and call security because she thought the people screaming were being robbed. They called the security office for their complex and asked them to call the security for the complex next door. Then she heard four shots. There was a longer pause between the first and second shots than between the second and third and third and fourth shot. Then she heard the woman scream again. The woman's second scream sounded like she was very scared. She described it as "a climax." She didn't hear the man scream after the shot.

She went back to sleep. She woke up in the morning and went to work. On the way to work, she called a friend and told her what she had heard, and asked her to find out what happened. At work, she told a male colleague and a female colleague. Then her husband called and told her it was on the news and Oscar was saying he thought there was an intruder and shot his girlfriend by mistake. They discussed whether they remembered what they heard.

They didn't call the police because they left town shortly after the incident. While they were on the road traveling, they heard about Oscar's bail hearing on the radio. They heard about a witness who was 600 meters away, and she realized it was important for her to come forward because their house was closer. She was shown an aerial photo and her house is 171 meters away.

She talked to a lawyer to get advice, and was going to write out her statement for the police, but they knocked on her door before she had the opportunity. They discussed her giving an interview and she asked for a police captain to come to the house. She said she and her husband aren't "media people" so she wanted to be interviewed at home.

The captain came and separately interviewed her and her husband.

On direct examination, the witness testified through an interpreter. She speaks both English and Afrikaans, so the questions were in English, without translation, but she answered in Afrikaans, which was then translated. At some point, she complained the translater wasn't properly translating her answers, the translater got all emotional, and then they didn't use a translater. Both the questions and answers were in English.

She seems like the classic case of an eye or ear witness who isn't lying, just mistaken. In her case it sounds like her memory has been tainted by post-event information and from pooling information with others. Memories weaken with the passage of time. When the person receives post-event information from other sources, such as the media, or discusses the incident with third persons, it becomes almost impossible to distinguish between their original memory of the event and the blended memory that is created by what they heard, observed or later learned from others.

The cross examination has focused on pointing out inconsistencies in her written statement and her version in court.

The cross-examination the second day got a bit more focused. The defense pointed out it was unlikely she could hear the woman screaming when she was in a locked toilet inside a room with a closed window and their houses were 171 meters apart. (The witness said her window was open because they didn't have air-conditioning.)

The defense asked her over and over whether it might not have been Oscar screaming, not a woman, but she was adamant she heard two voices, one woman and one man, and the woman's voice was anxious and increasingly emotional. The defense said Oscar's voice rises when he's upset or yelling. Also, she was more likely to have heard Oscar who was outside the door screaming, and not in the locked toilet.

The defense also kept asking her whether she might not have confused the last shot with Oscar's banging down the door with a cricket bat. She said she didn't think so.

Then the defense reads the medical report of the bullets, there were four shots including one to the brain. It said it will present expert testimony Reeva would have been incapable of screaming after the shot to the brain. The witness changes her story a bit to say the fourth shot could have been at the same time as the last shot. But yesterday she said it was few moments later, and that it increased in intensity from her earlier scream.

The defense says she's made up her mind not to change her version (i.e., she's biased.) There was no last scream from the woman, there couldn't have been. The last shot she thought she heard was the cricket bat. The person she heard screaming was Oscar. She was too far away to hear the emotion and increased anxiety in the person's voice.

Her experience with bullet sounds was limited to one or two times years ago when she went to a shooting range. She's never heard a cricket bat.

She's so intractable and unwilling to consider she might have gotten anything wrong, her testimony lacks credibility. She clearly believes what she is saying, but she's most likely wrong on the important parts.

Another example of how she hasn't been willing to give an inch: When asked how long it took her to fall asleep after the incident, she wasn't sure. The defense suggested the shooting (which she said was traumatizing) would have kept her up for a few few minutes. She wouldn't agree. She said her sister's baby died Friday and she fell right asleep.

Cross is done, and redirect begins. The witness breaks down and cries. When she's in the shower, she relives the terrifying scream. She says the shooting filled her with raw emotion. The redirect is very short and the witness is excused.

The state calls its second witness, another neighbor named Estelle Van Der Merwe. She too is asked questions in English and responds in Afrikaans. (Different interpreter.) She lives across the street and about a house down from Oscar (the screen says 95 meters. The first witness was 171 meters away.)

She says she heard loud voices for about an hour and then heard four shots that sounded like bang bang, and then silence. Then she heard someone crying loudly, it sounded like a woman, but her husband told her it was Oscar (a bit odd, since they didn't know Oscar then.) They saw ambulances and police and called security. Security said Oscar had shot his girlfriend. (This witness backs up the points Oscar's lawyer was making with the first witness, that the post-shot screams couldn't have been Reeva and the high pitched voice might have been Oscar in anguish.)

She didn't wake her husband up immediately to tell him what she heard.

It turns out the witness has been talking about two different events, one in 2013 the night of the shooting, and another when she saw lights and activity at Oscar's in 2014, and the prosecutor asks for a recess. That's it for me.

South Africa not only has the presumption of innocence, it requires proof beyond a reasonable doubt. Given that the state said in its opening that its case was built on inferences to be drawn from circumstantial evidence, I think it will have a tough time. There's no jury, just a judge, aided by two "assessors."

Some photos:

Oscar's lawyer questioning the witness.

For more coverage, I recommend following these reporters on Twitter, rather than news articles, since they are reporting unfiltered in real time: Barry Bateman; David Smith; Andrew Harding; Karen Maughan and Aislinn Laing.

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  • Display: Sort:
    his defence team argued that the gunshots (5.00 / 1) (#12)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Tue Mar 04, 2014 at 01:04:20 PM EST
    his defence team argued that the gunshots which killed girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp left her brain so "damaged" she couldn't have screamed. [...]

    "That person, who had sustained that amount of brain damage [when the fourth bullet struck her in the head], would have no response, no cognitive function. There can have been no response, and yet you claim to have heard her screaming?" Mr Roux asked.

    Is it not logical that she started screaming when she got scared enough, and then stopped when she was killed by the bullet hitting her brain?

    You were quicker than I (none / 0) (#19)
    by MO Blue on Tue Mar 04, 2014 at 02:09:05 PM EST
    Your post went up after I started to pose the same question.

    Ya. It seems pretty obvious to me, (none / 0) (#20)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Tue Mar 04, 2014 at 02:20:47 PM EST
    not sure how the defense would not expect that point to be quite easily challenged.

    How will the defense attempt to establish the orde (none / 0) (#22)
    by oculus on Tue Mar 04, 2014 at 02:28:22 PM EST
    in which he fired the shots vis a vis which location on her body each bullet struck?

    Interesting puzzle (none / 0) (#24)
    by MO Blue on Tue Mar 04, 2014 at 02:48:47 PM EST
    Both the prosecution and the defense feel that the grouping of the bullet as indicated by the door are significant.


    Pivotal from the outset, the bullet-marked toilet door through which Pistorius shot was removed from his home in the hours after he killed Steenkamp and was held by police. It was taken back to the house last year to be rehung while forensic experts working for Pistorius' defence recreated the scene. Both sides know its value. link

    Giving sometimes grisly details of the 29-year-old model Steenkamp's killing, Roux said Steenkamp had been shot in the head, so she wouldn't have been able to scream just after the last bullet struck, as Burger testified.

    Roux said that an expert would later testify in the trial that "with the head shot, she (Steenkamp) would have dropped down immediately." link

    If the defense plans to prove that Steenkamp would have dropped down immediately from the head wound, the experts should be able to determine whether or not wounds to her arm and hip were possible after she dropped from the head wound.


    While being able to prove whether or not (none / 0) (#25)
    by leftwig on Tue Mar 04, 2014 at 03:24:35 PM EST
    OP was wearing his prosthesis could be a boon for prosecution, I think the angle and direction of the shots are much more important.  When shooting in self defense, you are taught to shoot center mass (at the chest) and that would be what most people would target.  If OP is shooting in the toilet area to stop an intruder and he wasn't wearing his prosthesis, he should have been shooting at a slight upward angle.  IF the bullet trajectories show a flat or downward angle, its less likely he was targeting an intruder unless he believed the intruder was copping a squat.  Also, were all of the shots directed towards the toilet and not random to every location in that area?  If the shots are focused to one end of that enclosed toilet and not all around, then it would appear that OP knew where the person was that he was shooting at even though the door was closed and it was dark.  If the shots were only in the direction of the toilet end of the enclosed room and focused lower than where the average person would be standing, that will be pretty difficult for the defense to explain.  IF the shots are random through the door and not focused lower than center mass and not towards the toilet, then that helps the defense.

    Maybe you can answer this (none / 0) (#26)
    by jbindc on Tue Mar 04, 2014 at 03:27:21 PM EST
    do we know if OP actually had training for his gun?

    I mean, police officers are well trained to use their weapons and train with stressful situations and they miss most of their shots - why are we to think that someone who may or may not have had training (since I don't know for sure), would be as clear-headed about thinking where to shoot if he truly believed an intruder was in the house?


    I do not know the answer in regards to (none / 0) (#27)
    by leftwig on Tue Mar 04, 2014 at 03:38:03 PM EST
    "training", but I believe there is documentation of him being to shooting ranges.  I can say that I've never had formal weapons training or ever been to a shooting range, but I know where to aim my weapon if I want to stop someone.  You don't aim for their leg or waist, or their head.  It might be one thing if someone is coming at you and you are just trying to get some shots off, but if you are shooting at a closed door, you have time to aim.  Ballistics reports will show us how random the shots were and their likely trajectory.

    As a clue, if I am on my knees and hold my arms out at shoulder height like I would to shoot my weapon, my arms are only a few inches above my waist.  OP's amputation is above the knee, so I'd say his shooting position with his arms extended is probably about waist high for the average man.  If he was shooting to end a threat, he should have been shooting slightly upward.  


    According to this, he was required by law (none / 0) (#31)
    by MO Blue on Tue Mar 04, 2014 at 04:05:59 PM EST
    to have training.

    South Africa has stringent laws regulating the use of lethal force for self-protection. In order to get a permit to own a firearm, applicants must not only know those rules but must demonstrate proficiency with the weapon and knowledge of its safe handling, making it far tougher to legally own a gun in South Africa than many other countries.

    Pistorius took such a competency test for his 9mm pistol and passed it, according to the South African Police Service's National Firearms Centre. He therefore should have known that firing through a closed door cannot be viewed in South African law as an accident, according to Andre Pretorius, president of the Professional Firearm Trainers Council. link

    At least two shots are through the upper half.. (none / 0) (#44)
    by gbrbsb on Wed Mar 05, 2014 at 10:09:30 AM EST
    of the door as shown here in a police photo, so the angle will be key as you say as well as whether he was standing, with or without prothesis, or seated on the floor.

    Considering how high at least two bullet holes in the door are it's not surprising the police thought he was wearing prothesis, and imo at very least he must have been standing on his stumps otherwise from a horizontal position shots would surely have hit the ceiling... I wonder if the bullets hit RS after a ricochet ?

    For any trajectory studies wouldn't they need to know if OP can walk on his stumps or hands? Many of the images created about the trial show OP crawling vertically but with his fantastic physique I would be surprised he couldn't get around very well without prothesis, whether on stumps hands free or walking using his hands.


    I don't believe its correct to say those two (none / 0) (#45)
    by leftwig on Wed Mar 05, 2014 at 10:33:43 AM EST
    bullet holes are through the "upper half" of the door.  I think the door design is such that the cross plank in the door is not in the middle.  IF you look closely at the picture linked, you can see the door handle and the lock mechanism for the door and the holes are below the door handle. This would most likely be an indication that OP was on his stumps or on balanced on the floor with one hand.

    My question as an interested observer is if the  direction the shots were focused to one end of the WC or at someone who would be sitting or standing in the WC.  If I think an intruder is behind that closed door and I decide I am going to shoot to stop them, I am going to look to shoot center mass and if I am on the floor (on my stubs, or balancing on one arm as I believe has been relayed), that means the trajectory should be upwards.  Also, I don't think I'd be expecting that an intruder would be sitting on the toilet, but would be more likely standing near the door handle waiting to pounce or at least try to escape.  IF the shots are focused directly towards the toilet end and not the open area of the WC and at a height that would hit someone sitting on the toilet and not standing up, then I think thats evidence of the shooter knowing who is behind the door.


    I agree, the shots in the photo (none / 0) (#46)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Wed Mar 05, 2014 at 10:47:23 AM EST
    were through the bottom half of the door, below the doorknob:
    Police tape is seen marking two bullet holes below the doorknob at Mr. Pistorius' upscale Pretoria home, and a missing door panel.
    The camera lense and angle make a forced perspective that makes the holes look much higher than they actually are.

    Yep, I was a bit loose with top half, not least... (none / 0) (#48)
    by gbrbsb on Wed Mar 05, 2014 at 01:13:33 PM EST
    ... because cross bars generally start just at or below the centre, but I think the bullet holes may be a tad higher than you appear to think, at least looking at these images images, and for whatever reason the handle is just very high up.

    Interesting your surmises about expecting a cornered intruder to be close to the door rather than over by the loo. It makes sense, possibly even with ear pressed, getting ready to jump and/or run. However, I think I read there is a window on the wall of the toilet so depending on size OP could have thought the intruder was trying to escape through it, but then why not yell he had a loaded gun aimed at the door and keep him there till the police arrived.

    What really beats me is, if as OP claims he was trying to protect a sleeping Reeva (vulnerable state to leave her in if you believe there are intruders in the house) why risk going through the walk in wardrobe in the dark towards a perceived danger rather than lock the bedroom door, wake RS, and gun at the ready put on his prothesis while RS calls the police, to run out via the nearby stairs to security or a neighbours house. Indeed if OP can't get around on stumps hands free then his actions were incredibly reckless because even with only one hand taken up moving and/or balancing himself he would certainly not be at the ready to shoot had an intruder attacked him.


    In analyzing the first photo in that link, (none / 0) (#50)
    by leftwig on Wed Mar 05, 2014 at 02:27:56 PM EST
    here are some random thoughts.

    • toilet seats are generally about 15" off the floor which in relation to the tiles in the bathroom area would make the tiles 18" tiles
    • this gets further confirmation in the length of the WC which is 1.495 meters (a little over 4.5')
    • this confirms the doorway matching a standard of 32-36" wide.  If you look at the width of the door versus the height, it looks like the the two marked bullet holes would be at least 4' off the floor, which would make the door handle about 5' off the floor.  Thats an extremely odd height for a door handle.
    • the ballistic analysis will certainly tell us more, but the shot that hit the hip had to be a ricochet or deflection.  

    I am with you on some of the circumstantial evidence.  There are so many steps in what he says happened that don't seem to jive with what most reasonable people would have done in that circumstance.  I agree his handicap could alter that perspective, but then I don't get that if that is the reason for this irrational fear, why head into the unknown danger while pulling yourself along the ground?  ITs much easier to protect yourself (and Reeva) by taking a defensive position, especially given his condition.

    Lol! We brits must need to relieve ourselves... (5.00 / 1) (#54)
    by gbrbsb on Wed Mar 05, 2014 at 04:28:05 PM EST
    in loftier places. I thought 15in seemed a bit low but I had to check both of ours to make sure, and then some catalogues we have for a new loo and it appears the standard height over here for a throne is around 17in : - )

    Agree generally with your dimensions. (none / 0) (#53)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Wed Mar 05, 2014 at 03:23:01 PM EST
    I did not realize the WC was so small.

    Assuming the tiles are 16"-18" puts the two bullet holes around 30"-36" above the floor which would generally correspond with OP shooting w/o his prostheses.


    I don't think I agree with the bullet holes being (none / 0) (#56)
    by leftwig on Thu Mar 06, 2014 at 09:55:41 AM EST
    30"-36" off the floor.  As mentioned, a standard interior door is going to be 32"-36" wide (again, the size of the tiles and toilet height in relation to those tiles seems to confirm at least a 32" door width and that would be my guess for its width).  The bottom panel appears to roughly be a square, though the photographs I've seen have enough angle distortion that its difficult to say for sure.  If the bottom panel is a square and the door is a minimum of 32" wide, then the lowest bullet hole marked is at least 36" from the floor and the second marked appears another 6" or so higher.   That would still fit him likely having done the shooting without his prosthetics being in place because with his prosthetics on and arms extended at shoulder width, you'd expect the holes to be about 60" off the floor, unless shot at a downward angle.

    I'd also say that the way the finish and wood stripped off the back of the door that it looks like an upward angle is most likely.  The wood appears more stripped away above the exit hole than below and this suggests an upward trajectory.  Of course examining the actual hole would provide better analysis.


    (16" - 18") to measure the height of the holes. Not at all completely accurate, of course, but for my needs it's also not that critical.

    The holes are at a height which is significantly lower than what would result from OP standing up on his prostheses and shooting directly forward.

    So he either was standing up on his prostheses and shot in a downward direction, or he was in a lower position on his stumps and shot in a forward direction.

    Unless their is some wild claim is that the bullets were fired at a sharply downward trajectory such that they hit the floor first and then ricocheted up to kill RS, it's pretty clear that the trajectory indicates that the gun was fired from a height consistent with OP being on his stumps.

    I'm not as convinced as you that the back of the door shows an upward trajectory. Those are some really long pieces of wood that seem to be stripped away, and any angles that the bullets may have had when they hit the door would be relatively small. I'd say they're more consistent with wood chipping away as a result of the grain.


    You know I will have to say though, (none / 0) (#47)
    by leftwig on Wed Mar 05, 2014 at 11:39:42 AM EST
    in looking at other photos and comparing the height of the bullet holes in the door to the height of the toilet, they appear much higher than you'd expect given that they show below the door handle.  We'll probably just have to wait on forensics to give us exact height of the 4 holes and the direction that bullets were fired in.

    The experts should be able to determine... (none / 0) (#41)
    by gbrbsb on Wed Mar 05, 2014 at 06:43:05 AM EST
    at least a fairly clear bullet order in which the head shot was last, not least because if RS dropped down immediately with the head shot then none of the others would have hit her according to the height of the holes in the door.  The head one appears to show RS was either sitting or crouching, not standing up.

    Great question. (none / 0) (#28)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Tue Mar 04, 2014 at 03:46:06 PM EST
    I also seem to remember that a spend shell from OP's gun was found in the toilet inside the toilet room. Not sure how to explain that one either...

    I believe it was a bullet or bullet fragment (none / 0) (#36)
    by leftwig on Tue Mar 04, 2014 at 06:59:45 PM EST
    that was found in the toilet, not a shell casing.  There were 3 casings on the bathroom floor and one in the hallway between the bedroom and bathroom (closer to the bathroom).

    Thanks for the clarification. (none / 0) (#37)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Tue Mar 04, 2014 at 07:25:54 PM EST
    Bounce? Iirc the bullet that did not hit her... (none / 0) (#42)
    by gbrbsb on Wed Mar 05, 2014 at 06:45:10 AM EST
    was found in the sink.

    the proseuctor and defense lawyer (none / 0) (#32)
    by Jeralyn on Tue Mar 04, 2014 at 05:01:33 PM EST
    agree on the medical report which shows which was first and last. The head was the last shot. So she couldn't have screamed after the last shot like the witness said.

    So if the head shot was last, (none / 0) (#33)
    by MO Blue on Tue Mar 04, 2014 at 05:17:16 PM EST
    3 shots were fired before she suffered the brain damage that would cause her to have no cognitive function.

    IOW, before she suffered the brain damage, one shot went astray and she received gunshot wounds to her arm and hip.

    While I agree that if the brain damage was as indicated she could not have screamed after the last shot was fired, it does seem reasonable to me that she would have screamed at some point after the first shot was fired.


    Ah, thanks for the explanation. (none / 0) (#35)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Tue Mar 04, 2014 at 05:29:14 PM EST
    I missed that she said there was a scream after the 4th shot. Should be interesting to see what the prosecution makes of that.

    IMO the witness clarified this time and again... (none / 0) (#43)
    by gbrbsb on Wed Mar 05, 2014 at 08:42:49 AM EST
    ... i.e. that she may have heard the last scream at the same time as the last shot or even a second before it with the scream fading quickly to silence after the shot.

    I personally don't see a problem with her testimony from a Uk perspective where we actually like witnesses who are steadfast and unwavering and find them unreliable when they aren't, but time will tell how a SA judge sees when reasoning her judgement...  if she uses any of Burger's testimony to convict or acquit that is.


    AP article today (none / 0) (#58)
    by MO Blue on Thu Mar 06, 2014 at 05:59:40 PM EST
    Johan Stipp, a doctor, neighbor and one of the first responders on the scene testified that he heard a woman scream also.

    Stipp also testified to hearing a woman screaming before and during the sounds of what he called gunshots coming from Pistorius' home that night. Stipp lives in a house behind and across a road from the villa where Steenkamp was killed.

    Testifying to a woman screaming at the time of those gunshots, he appeared to back up two other prosecution witnesses who say they heard the same. Pistorius' lawyer, Barry Roux, says they are all mistaken and what they heard was actually Pistorius screaming in a high-pitched voice and then hitting the locked toilet door with a cricket bat to reach Steenkamp. Roux says he can prove that through a combination of expert evidence and phone records. link

    but not the 9 millimeter gunshots?

    This should be interesting.


    I agree that it will be an interesting defense (none / 0) (#60)
    by MO Blue on Thu Mar 06, 2014 at 10:04:19 PM EST
    Definitely interested in how he will explain that the witnesses could hear a bat but couldn't hear the gunshots and why explain away why the woman didn't scream as she was being shot.

    I think its conceivable that someone (none / 0) (#61)
    by leftwig on Fri Mar 07, 2014 at 07:49:53 AM EST
    could mistake someone hitting a wooden door with a bat and a gunshot, though the sounds would be different.  The witness who said they owned a handgun (same caliber as OP's) seemed pretty confident that he could tell it was gunfire given his experience with his own weapon.  Another difficulty for the defense is that at least one witness said she heard 4 bangs which is how many gunshots there were. I don't know if the other witnesses mentioned the same number or not, but if the witnesses have heard the same number of bangs as there were gunshots, then that will be another obstacle to overcome.  How far apart the bangs were is important as well because you can shoot 4 shots from a semi-automatic pistol considerably faster than you could bang on a door with a bat (assuming you are taking swings big enough to break it).

    One thing I didn't hear from any of the witnesses was mention of banging that wasn't described as gunshots though I have not gone back through all their testimony.  There doesn't seem to be much doubt that OP did hit the door with the bat (presumably after the shooting as I think the panel that got knocked out had bullet holes in it.  If witnesses haven't accounted for hearing those sounds, then I think the defense has a decent chance of arguing at least that part of their theory.  


    More witnesses hearing gunshots (none / 0) (#62)
    by MO Blue on Fri Mar 07, 2014 at 08:38:33 AM EST
    Security guard Pieter Baba, who works at the Silverwoods Estate

    He says he went on patrol around the site, but by 2.55am he was back at the gate.

    Then, the guard who was on bike duty reported he had heard gunshots.

    They then had two phone calls, from Dr Stipp and another residents saying they too had heard gunshots.

    He says he did not know where the gunshots were coming from, so went to investigate in a pickup truck.

    Mr Baba went to Dr Stipp's house, who pointed to Pistroius' home.

    He says Pistorius' lights were on so "I immediately drove there".

    He says he spoke to Pistorius on the site cellphone and he said "everything is fine".

    "That's when I realised that Pistorius was crying."

    He says he told a colleague something was wrong, and Pistorius called him back.

    "He just started crying over the phone, that's when the line went off."


    Todays testimony is the most damaging so far (none / 0) (#63)
    by leftwig on Fri Mar 07, 2014 at 09:42:02 AM EST
    to the defense.  The security guard said he called OP after getting calls from 2 residents about hearing gunshots.  The security guard said OP's response was "Security, everything is fine".  He said OP called back a few minutes later sobbing and the line went dead.  I didn't hear the exact timing of his calls, but we have people reporting shots, calling security and security calling OP and him telling them everything is fine.  

    The ex GF said she's heard OP scream and he doesn't sound like a woman.  Also said that while they were sleeping together, he woke her several times to ask if she heard something and had taken his gun to investigate noises.  I didn't hear any mention of whether he put on his prosthetics or not when investigating.  She said he had a temper and had fired the gun out the sunroof of the car she was in with him after a traffic stop.  


    Dr. Stipp contradict Pistorius regarding light (none / 0) (#64)
    by MO Blue on Fri Mar 07, 2014 at 10:47:20 AM EST
    A witness's testimony that he saw a light on in Oscar Pistorius's bathroom window contradicts the paralympic athlete's claims that it was dark, the High Court in Pretoria heard on Friday.

    Johan Stipp said he saw light through the frosted glass of Pistorius's bathroom from the bedroom balcony of his townhouse shortly after 3am on February 14 last year, when he shot dead his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp.

    Prosecutor Gerrie Nel then read from the statement Pistorius submitted at his bail application.

    "Everything was pitch dark... I was still too scared to switch on the light," Nel read out to the court.

    Stipp testified on Thursday that he woke up around 3am to what sounded like gunshots, then heard a woman screaming and then three more "bangs".

    Stipp said he could see one whole pane and the top half of the other two of the bathroom window. On Thursday Stipp testified that he saw the light was on and the "light silhouette of a person" moving behind the glass from right to left. link

    Can't find the reference now, but some legal eagle on a new network thought Stipp's testimony helped Pistorius. Taken in total, I don't see it but then again I'm not a lawyer.


    Toilet door slightly open would explain light (none / 0) (#75)
    by batgunkick on Tue May 27, 2014 at 11:09:34 PM EST
    I have a theory that Reeva came out of the toilet and went back in - explaining light flooding into the toilet from the bathroom, and lights seeming on. Or Stipp saw light flooding through after Oscar had broken the panel? You should check out the bat gun kick theory: Move the bat and the kick to either side of the gunshots, and everything falls into place. It makes the State's case airtight.
    For detailed explanation:

    You're right. In fact, unless I missed... (none / 0) (#66)
    by gbrbsb on Fri Mar 07, 2014 at 12:48:35 PM EST
    ... a part of the testimony only one witness, the Dr, heard both "volleys" but even he mistook the second for gun shots. This must favour the defence in as much as it puts under question whether the other witnesses who only heard one volley, heard the second, i.e. the door, which, if it is correct that Reeva's head shot left her silent, can only mean OP does in fact scream like the girl the other witnesses heard!

    Agree in part, but even if they all mistook (none / 0) (#68)
    by leftwig on Fri Mar 07, 2014 at 01:11:13 PM EST
    the banging on the door with gunshots, the testimony from the security guard is going to be difficult to overcome.  The security guard has two people calling at the sound of screaming and "gunfire", then he called OP asking if everything was OK which according to the security guard, OP confirmed.  So even if the witnesses were mistaken in what they heard in regards to gunfire and whether it was a woman's voice, they still have OP telling a security guard that called him after these events occurred (the shooting and the banging on the door) that everything was OK.  Since the security guard called him, his response is more likely to have been spontaneous and unplanned, while events that followed would be steps OP chose to take.  I don't understand why OP would have called that security person back and just sobbed, but then called another security person who wasn't on site to come help him.  At the very least, I would expect someone who realized they accidentally shot their GF to have told that security person to call for medical help one of the two times they were on the phone together.  IT will be interesting to hear what the head of security recalls from his conversation with OP since its been stated that medical help was not called for until he arrived on site.

    I agree... (none / 0) (#69)
    by gbrbsb on Fri Mar 07, 2014 at 06:26:12 PM EST
    ... there are so many discrepancies and strange reactions to explain. I too can't think what explanation for OP telling the guard all was "fine". I presume the cross with his ex about where he kept his phone at night was to explain why he didn't call the cops or security when he heard the noise nor when he realised he'd shot Reeva ? I mean, what was he thinking carrying her downstairs like in a 40s movie ? Such a strange reaction and when from the Drs testimony it seems RS was already dead.

    Personally I haven't yet seen intent or premeditation, (unless to kill a presumed burglar), more like rage shooting at a closed door because RS would not open it. The ballistic experts could be gripping. There is a lot of blood on the loo seat as if she had been sitting there... but with the pan cover raised... eeww!... most women I know would at least lower the cover if using as a seat, unless of course RS really was going to the loo... but dressed in outdoor gear and with her mobile !!!???

    And how quietly can OP move around on stumps so as to not forewarn a presumed burglar he was coming up the passage who could fire at him as he turned the corner? And if he needs a hand to steady himself (his ex said this I think) then he must have been quite low when shooting and how steady with one hand? Maybe that's part of the prosecutions premeditation because from what I've seen of double amputees moving around on their stumps they are not very agile or quick as someone with all their limbs so more planning and time to complete is necessary.


    Well, i think if the prosecution can (none / 0) (#70)
    by leftwig on Sun Mar 09, 2014 at 01:25:12 PM EST
    convince the judge that OP knew Reeva was behind the door when he shot, I don't think premeditated murder will be that difficult.  He was on his stumps and the gun was in the bedroom.  If they had an argument and she locked herself in, he had to get his gun walk across the bedroom, down the hallway and into the bathroom and put 4 shots into the middle of the door.  I haven't seen any evidence that he had planned what happened, but he had plenty of time to make the decision and one could maybe argue one shot might be an attempt at a "warning", but not 4.  I think a judge will find that he was shooting to kill whoever was behind that door.

    Yes indeed, a judge may well conclude... (none / 0) (#71)
    by gbrbsb on Sun Mar 09, 2014 at 07:26:51 PM EST
    one shot good, four shots bad whoever was behind the door.

    In respect of convincing the judge that OP knew RS was behind the door, reading Sky's transcripts today to catch up I found something very important in Dr Stip's testimony, something the prosecution was extremely reluctant to disclose at that point, i.e. the prosecution's case is based on the first volley of "shots" being OP banging on the door, and the second volley being the actual gun shots that killed Reeva, i.e. exactly the inverse to what OP claims !

    Even Roux didn't realise that was that this was the prosecutions case and Nel hedged mightily before disclosing but was basically forced to by a question Roux put to the Dr.

    I wonder what evidence the prosecution has to show this and how OP took the panel out after shooting through it. OTOH it fits with testimonies about arguments and screams and does have a better logic, i.e. Reeva runs to the toilet during a heated row dressed and with her mobile. OP bats the door but without breaking through while Reeva still refuses to open. Enraged OP shoots through the door and immediately regrets it etc. etc. etc. But then when and how did he take the panel out ?


    Its a tricky proposition for the prosecution. (none / 0) (#72)
    by leftwig on Mon Mar 10, 2014 at 09:34:33 AM EST
    Their case should be based on the evidence as its generally for the defense to offer all the speculation.  The prosecution and defense both seem to agree that OP shot 4 shots into the door and that he hit the door with the bat at some point.  The defense has to show that the bat incident occurred after the shooting or their case is toast.  I don't think the prosecution has to lay its case on the order, though its case would be much easier if it could be proven the bat incident occurred before the shooting.

    The prosecutions witnesses are testifying to shots being after a woman screaming.  The thing is, they aren't eye witnesses and I do think a bat hitting a wooden door could be mistaken for gun shots, especially given the distance between the activity and the witnesses.  Based on their accounts of a woman screaming right before what they describe as the final shots, certainly they accuracy of the interpretation of what they heard would be dependent on the order of events.  For the prosecutions case however, I think they could show murder even if the witnesses were mistaken in the way the defense describes.  The timings of all the calls (from witnesses to security, from security to OP, from OP to different security individuals) as well as what was said during those calls could be enough to convict even if the witnesses were mistaken in what they heard. I don't think the prosecution should be, or would, put all their eggs into one basket of the shots being second, unless they had forensic evidence to back up that claim.  They should just present that they think things occurred in this order given the evidence and witnesses testimony, but even if it was in the other order, the calls and conversations support a timeline showing that OP wasn't showing great concern shortly after banging down the door and finding Reeva.

    As someone pointed out, so far, we've only seen the prosecutions witnesses, and the defense has done a pretty good job in raising some doubt on exactly what the witnesses heard.  They may also be able to present a timeline that backs up his story, so we have to wait for all sides to be presented.  Today they seemed to be laying the groundwork for OP having called site security first and it was after not getting an initial response that he called the head of security.  That wouldn't necessarily explain why he didn't say more to site security when they called him back, or why site security said they were told to call for medical help after the head of security and site security entered OP's building.  There is still quite a bit of evidence that could turn this case either way.


    Cricket bats v. shots do sound similar as the... (none / 0) (#73)
    by gbrbsb on Mon Mar 10, 2014 at 06:04:59 PM EST
    ... test, "Cricket bat v gunshot sounds - analysis" uploaded YT 2 days ago (comparison at 3:10) confirms, in which even though the shots are louder and "crackier", cricket batting a door could clearly be mistaken for shots if at a distance and if only hearing one volley (as the Burgers and another witness did), or like Dr Sipp who did hear 2 volleys took both as gun shots.

    Today, apart from the ongoing dispute on who called first, it transpired RS could have breathed, even if "no more than a few times", after the head shot (in which case I would think she could she have emitted an involuntary shriek of pain accounting for the Burger's "fading" scream after the last shot. The report of Reeva eating within 2 hours of death although wrong-footing OP's account doesn't appear important considerng such analysis are imprecise and the defence will call in another to contradict it anyway.

    My still insurmountable problem with OP's account is the complete absence of his reporting any screams, grunts, groans, moans, etc. from Reeva/intruder, not even with the first hit, or any noises of falling, slumping, etc. from within the loo. Indeed he only reports himself screaming thereby seemingly usurping Reeva's obvious pain with the injuries. I cannot see how to explain this except by the obvious, i.e. OP cannot risk admitting to having heard any such vocal or other noises because how then would he explain the 3 extra shots or only realising he likely shot Reeva once back in the bedroom. IMO this could be pivotal in the final judgement.


    IMO, from what I was listening to... (none / 0) (#65)
    by gbrbsb on Fri Mar 07, 2014 at 12:32:50 PM EST
    ... the Dr's testimony, especially near the end, favoured the defence. The AP article of your link notes just after your quotes:

    Gunshots or the bangs of a bat on the door? It's critical. When witnesses say they heard a woman screaming before and during gunshots, Roux is arguing throughout that the sounds were Pistorius shrieking for help and then breaking open the toilet door.

    Roux appeared to gain some momentum for Pistorius' case Thursday when Stipp testified to hearing two distinct volleys of gunfire. Roux said there was only one volley and four shots and hinted if this witness confused the sound of a bat on a door with gunfire, others could have too.

    I can see that if the Dr mistook the door bashing for another volley of shots then it seems highly likely the Burgers, who only heard one volley, heard the second, i.e. the door but not the shots. However, that  doesn't change my thoughts on the Burgers who imo showed themselves as very honest and thorough, and despite being very private sacrificing to do their civic duty. I know people like that, and the accusatory way Roux treated especially the woman, was imo unnecessary to prove his point and only serves to scare people away from testifying. Roux seems, to have softened a bit today... maybe a little birdie whispered something to him !


    I would be interested to see (none / 0) (#67)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Fri Mar 07, 2014 at 12:55:37 PM EST
    the defense presentation that claims that a wooden bat hitting a relatively thin wooden door panel would be heard, but not gunshots from the same location. And/or that the two would be easily confused.

    Sorry, (5.00 / 1) (#13)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Tue Mar 04, 2014 at 01:04:55 PM EST
    Stale (5.00 / 1) (#39)
    by Mikado Cat on Wed Mar 05, 2014 at 12:29:56 AM EST
    testimony about events within seconds of waking, what could be more unreliable?

    Maybe they could be used to raise some level of doubt, but they are inherently so weak without support from other evidence.

    I have a really hard time accepting that it is OK to fire a gun through a door, or continue firing when you hear a woman's scream.

    I have no trouble accepting a relationship fight escalating through a locked bathroom door.

    You think OP will testify? (none / 0) (#1)
    by leftwig on Tue Mar 04, 2014 at 08:32:00 AM EST
    I'm not sure how else the defense would get evidence in that it was an accidental shooting, but cross examination would have to be really difficult for him. Seems to me that with witnesses saying there was screaming before the shots were fired that its going to come down to OP having to explain what happened that night.

    If this case were in the US, what would the defense need to present to overcome a guilty verdict (presuming he didn't testify)?  ITs clear he shot her and that it wasn't self defense.  There are no eye witnesses except for OP.  I assume he would need to amount some sort of explanation for why he shot her and I don't see how that could be introduced without him testifying.

    yes, his lawyer pretty much said (none / 0) (#3)
    by Jeralyn on Tue Mar 04, 2014 at 12:30:29 PM EST
    during the reading of Oscar's opening statement he would testify.

    correct and GZ's attorneys said he wanted to (none / 0) (#10)
    by leftwig on Tue Mar 04, 2014 at 01:01:06 PM EST
    testify as well.  It certainly seems in this case that its probably required, but it could be that the defense makes a decision that they have a better chance at winning (or being convicted of a lesser charge) if he doesn't testify.  I'm just trying to put my head around how that strategy in this case could work out if held in US courts.  

    In RSA, is his statement read in court considered testimony evidence, or does he have to say it on the stand and face cross-exam to be considered?


    there will be a battle of forensic experts (none / 0) (#4)
    by Jeralyn on Tue Mar 04, 2014 at 12:34:17 PM EST
    to show his position and probably sound traveling.

    In the opening, he said they had a loving relationship, there was no argument and he mistook her for an intruder.

    The state has apparently conceded he was on his "stumps" and their original distance calculations of where he was were wrong.


    Another Who Was Screaming Case? (none / 0) (#2)
    by RickyJim on Tue Mar 04, 2014 at 10:22:00 AM EST
    I guess that if Oscar was the only one screaming, that is good for the defense while if Reva was also screaming, that aids the prosecution case.  Of course this reminds of the Zimmerman case where unfortunately it turned out to be impossible to tell if the screamer on the tape was Martin or Zimmerman, so it was reasonable it was Zimmerman and thus an acquittal.  It will be interesting if the same thing happens here.

    The one fact that bothers me .... (none / 0) (#5)
    by magster on Tue Mar 04, 2014 at 12:36:21 PM EST
    that is in favor of the prosecution is that the girlfriend locked the bathroom door. Does a person in a couple intimate enough to start living together lock the door in the middle of the night when they get up to pee? Seems instead she was trying to keep him out which would be more indicative of an argument than his claim of an intruder.

    And (none / 0) (#6)
    by jbindc on Tue Mar 04, 2014 at 12:47:21 PM EST
    How many intruders would lock themselves in an interior bathroom with no means of escape?

    I don't think any would, but (none / 0) (#8)
    by leftwig on Tue Mar 04, 2014 at 12:57:54 PM EST
    I don't think there is any evidence that OP checked the door to see if it was locked or not prior to shooting, but yeah, it doesn't make much sense for an intruder to shut themselves into an enclosed area with no escape.  I imagine OPs defense will be that he was so gripped with fear that he didn't consider what an intruder might have been doing in there.

    I think the other question is more interesting.  Its not completely uncommon for one to shut the door to the bathroom even when married as I sometimes shut the toilet door as a courtesy.  However, I can't think of a good reason as for why she would have locked the door to the toilet area and been fully clothed (I believed this is in evidence), while sitting on the toilet.


    It may be (none / 0) (#11)
    by Abdul Abulbul Amir on Tue Mar 04, 2014 at 01:03:18 PM EST

    It may be that she locked it out of habit.  

    Well, Pistorius claimed that .... (none / 0) (#9)
    by magster on Tue Mar 04, 2014 at 12:58:08 PM EST
    the intruders used ladders to get into the bathroom. Maybe the intruder had to get a shower after breaking in.

    According to the diagrams (none / 0) (#14)
    by jbindc on Tue Mar 04, 2014 at 01:08:11 PM EST
    And of course, they can be wrong, but the window doesn't look big enough for someone to crawl through, so if that's his claim, and the diagrams are accurate, then his claim will fail spectacularly.

    Isn't it possible she locked the door (none / 0) (#15)
    by vicndabx on Tue Mar 04, 2014 at 01:11:26 PM EST
    in response to OP's scream telling the intruder to get out of the house and his asking her to call the police?  I.e. she's afraid and in the bathroom but is unsure of what's going on outside?

    You only get to the "she locked the door because she feared OP" if you believe they were fighting.

    Not saying it's not possible, but seems there are alternative theories the defense could offer.


    That's what OP's lawyers need to do.... (none / 0) (#17)
    by magster on Tue Mar 04, 2014 at 01:59:11 PM EST
    ... explain away a troublesome fact.

    lol - lots of "troublesome" facts. (none / 0) (#38)
    by Mr Natural on Tue Mar 04, 2014 at 09:03:33 PM EST
    Thats a reasonable explanation (none / 0) (#23)
    by leftwig on Tue Mar 04, 2014 at 02:43:04 PM EST
    and one I hadn't considered.  I'm thinking that if that were the case, she would have said something in response to him yelling at her to call police.   I guess its possible his yelling caused her fear to remain silent.  

    I'm not sure how he explains putting 4 bullet holes into the bathroom door.  I understand he heard a noise, but is it common for him to get his gun and go investigating every time he hears a noise in the middle of the night?  Does he not consider that the most logical explanation for the noise in the bathroom would be his GF and not at least think to check to see if she was in bed (that it was dark doesn't cover checking to see if she's there)?  

    There are many other facets to his story that will be under scrutiny and his testimony will be interesting.  I don't see that he's not guilty of at least manslaughter, but his testimony will determine whether guilt in a greater crime will be found.  


    ...and she took her telephones to the loo... (none / 0) (#29)
    by gbrbsb on Tue Mar 04, 2014 at 03:49:39 PM EST
    ... to call the cops ?  Doubt the defence could take this route as there is a very BIG problem, i.e. RS would have had to have taken her telephone/s to the loo before OP yelled for her to "call the cops"... and if she took the phones off her own bat not a very romantic valentine's evening to find your lover in the loo talking on the phone out of earshot.

    I wonder if Apple is going to let them access OP's iphone. Fortunately for him he's not in the UK since here if you "forget" or "lose"  the password to your computer, phone, tablet etc. while under investigation you can be charged and sent jail even if the information was not culpatory.


    Meanwhile, South African police who went to the US last week to ask Apple technicians to recover encrypted content from one of Pistorius's iPhones have retrieved crucial information from the device.

    The three senior officers were able to retrieve text and WhatsApp messages from the phone, South Africa's Sunday Times reported yesterday.

    Reports I've read stated that Ms Steenkamp (none / 0) (#18)
    by MO Blue on Tue Mar 04, 2014 at 02:06:23 PM EST
    was hit by 3 of the 4 bullets. She was shot in her arm, hip, and head. Is there evidence on which wound occurred first? This account of the trial has this from the defense (not sure of accuracy) indicating that the head shot was the fourth shot fired:

    "That person, who had sustained that amount of brain damage [when the fourth bullet struck her in the head], would have no response, no cognitive function. There can have been no response, and yet you claim to have heard her screaming?" Mr Roux asked.

    If Pistorius shouted at what he thought was an intruder and she was hit in the arm or hip and  before she lost cognitive function from the 4th shot, it would seem reasonable that she would start screaming.


    I think I heard that both sides have concurred.. (none / 0) (#52)
    by gbrbsb on Wed Mar 05, 2014 at 03:22:43 PM EST
    ... that the head shot was the fourth and last. But she didn't die straight away albeit depending on what part of the brain was hit she would have been more or less cognisant, less rather than more.

    You are right (none / 0) (#55)
    by MO Blue on Wed Mar 05, 2014 at 07:02:10 PM EST
    I posted this particular comment prior to Jeralyn informing us that both sides had agreed on the sequence of the shots and the head shot was the last.

    The defense has claimed that his experts will prove that the brain damage from the head shot was so extensive that they would have been no response, no cognitive function.

    Guess we will learn more as the trial unfolds.



    and she took her telephone/s in with her... (none / 0) (#21)
    by gbrbsb on Tue Mar 04, 2014 at 02:27:51 PM EST
    and do I recall that she was dressed in her day gear?

    I think the GZ trial has been covered more than (none / 0) (#7)
    by leftwig on Tue Mar 04, 2014 at 12:51:36 PM EST
    any of us cares to admit.  I think this case is quite a bit different that there probably isn't any need to draw any comparisons if for no other reason than to prevent spiraling off into unrelated tangents.

    People heard screaming. I believe the two that have testified have said that they heard 2 different voices screaming.  I don't think they are lying, but the question is, how believable is their story (could they really distinguish 2 voices given their proximity and are they believable on the timeline).  OP said he screamed out to the intruder and for his GF to call police and after the shooting opened the blinds, curtains and patio door to scream for help.  He made no mention in his statement (denying or confirming) whether his GF has been screaming at any point that evening, though his series of events seems to imply that he wasn't aware of her making a sound after they went to sleep (no mention of what time that was other than Reeva starting her Yoga at 22:00 and going to sleep after finishing her exercises).  

    I do think voice recognition will play some role in this trial given that OP mentions nothing about Reeva screaming and witnesses mention hearing 2 different voices yelling, though it doesn't appear the witnesses have any idea what the yelling was about.  If its plausible that the witnesses could distinguish between 2 voices and that the witnesses are believable, then it obviously hurts the defense.  IT will be interesting to see if the defense sticks with the "witnesses are mistaken" strategy, or attempt to offer some explanation.  I assume it will be the former as admitting Reeva screaming now would be huge obstacle to his defense.

    I agree (none / 0) (#16)
    by Rumpole on Tue Mar 04, 2014 at 01:34:08 PM EST
    Thanks Jeralyn. Great summary of the proceedings to date.

    phew What a relief to see posted comment by somebody watching the same trial as I am :D
    That is not what I see at "True Gossip Forums"

    I hope you don't mind that I quote a little and link back here. I hope you post more of your take as the trial proceeds.

    I picked Burger as a "type" from the outset. A smart woman who can rationalise and find an answer to everything, but stubborn and unwilling to concede anything.
    I think Roux did a great job on Cross examination. Got her to paint herself into a corner and look stubborn (and wrong) when she would not concede what was logically impossible in her testimony. Also clearly she has colluded with her husband to get their versions to match. To some extent that would be expected. To deny it so adamantly looks like an attempt to deceive and IMO casts some doubt on her honesty throughout her testimony

    feel free to quote so long as (none / 0) (#34)
    by Jeralyn on Tue Mar 04, 2014 at 05:21:24 PM EST
    provide the link.

    I actually transcribed almost all the first day's s proceedings as it was going on, proofed it and then hit the wrong key and deleted the whole thing. This post is from my memory of what I typed and proofed the first night, and what I watched last night. I thought the massive press presence would result in full and fair coverage, and losing that transcript would be no big deal, but so far the press I've seen has been slanted and left out lots of details.

    I'm not sure I'll be able to write up every day's proceedings as I do have to sleep sometime, and the trial starts here at 1:00 am, but I'll do what I can.

    A few reporters in the courtroom have said it's hard to hear, but the video feed seems to work fine. There is a bit of a language barrier, as they use phrases differently than we do. For example, when Witness Burger said she handed her cell phone to her husband to call security, she said they talked and then he dropped the phone. I assume she meant he hung up, but who knows. Same for the scream "climaxing", a word she used repeatedly to describe it. And she was described as a "college tutor" but apparently she's a lecturer.

    Another thing I left out: Her husband stayed home the next day "doing measurements" in their home. I think she meant for a security system. So he was home with access to the news, when he called her at work and asked her if she remembered what "they" not "she" had heard. Another point Oscar's lawyer tried to make was that she and her husband discussed what each heard in detail.

    Apparently they don't have live court-reporting in South Africa, as one reporter said that Oscar's team had hired a typist to type the proceedings in court so they could review the transcripts each nite.


    Sky is posting the daily transcripts... (none / 0) (#40)
    by gbrbsb on Wed Mar 05, 2014 at 05:27:25 AM EST
    if of any help, Link

    I just pasted and copied each of the parts consecutively into a google doc. Checking so far they seem spot on... well they do tend to mix up certain words, e.g. "than" for "then", due to the SA accent.


    Not a problem (none / 0) (#49)
    by Rumpole on Wed Mar 05, 2014 at 02:07:19 PM EST
    provide the link.

    You mean a link here to what I post? Not a problem.
    I did not include a link or name "Random Topics" because I did not want to appear to be "touting for business"


     I notice the language quirks now you mention them.

    To some extent I have similar little problems with US English V English. :D
    After 6 years online at US sites I'd like to think I am bilingual :D


    It seems strange (none / 0) (#51)
    by Rumpole on Wed Mar 05, 2014 at 02:41:48 PM EST
    to be including other crimes (Counts) not related to the incident of the primary incident. (Murder charge)

    What sound like minor firearms charges from past occasions.
    It appears to me as a somewhat desperate tactic by the Prosecution, to introduce prior bad acts that I guess did not even warrant charges being laid at the time. And even conceding that as perhaps evidence of a general cavalier attitude towards firearms on Pistorius's part, jumping from witnesses testifying to the main event, just to discuss a separate discharge of firearm incident makes for a very disjointed presentation by the Prosecution.