Oscar Pistorius: Neighbors Closest to His House Back His Version

Reading through the twitter feeds of 6 journalists I follow who tweet the court proceedings in real time (rather than the media articles published after which selectively summarize the testimony, mostly in favor of the prosecution), here's what happened at the latest court session:

The defense called two more neighbors who live closer to Oscar than the state's witnesses. They heard bangs followed by a man howling in a high pitched voice. None heard a woman crying or screaming. One is a female psychologist for the Department of Labor who lives right next door or right behind him. She replicated the howling. The state's cross-examination of these witnesses was so short the defense ran out of witnesses and the trial recessed early.

There are now four neighbors who support Oscar's version of events. These witnesses were on the prosecution's witness list but were not called by rhe state. Instead the state called witnesses who lived much further away whose testimony was remarkably different but fit their theory. If the job of the prosecutor is not to convict but to see that justice is done, the state's failure to call these witnesses speaks volumes. [More...]

The media, instead of focusing on the day's testimony which was very favorable to Oscar, today is focused on an allegation by a friend of Reeva's attending the proceedings that Oscar came up to her and asked her "how do you sleep at night?" This woman, who has been outspoken to the media in her criticism of Oscar, was on the state's witness list because she was one of those who identified Reeva's body.

Since she was not called by the state, and the defense is not calling her, she is not a witness. So even if Oscar did say that, which he denies, there's no obstruction here. Her lawyer reported the comment to the National Prosecuting Agency, which said there's nothing for it to do about it.

The six journalists I follow on Twitter: Barry Bateman, Andrew Harding, Alex Crawford, Karen Maughan, Aislinn Lang and Mandy Wiener.

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    Good stuff (5.00 / 1) (#1)
    by Dadler on Tue May 06, 2014 at 01:53:05 PM EST
    Gonna be interesting. I don't buy his version, it's still irrational and concocted IMO, and he still told the first caller that everything was fine. With a jury, I might think he had a chance. With a single judge, considering his history of utter irresponsibility with guns, and that first call response, I just don't know. The defense could have it. Like I said, gonna be interesting. But count me as skeptical of OP, for pretty obvious reasons. It's the OJ case of South Africa. And OJ was always full of sh*t, but had a defense miles better than the prosecutors, and an historically abusive LAPD whose key witness was a pretty eff'd up guy when it came to race.

    Thanks for all the posts, J. I always appreciate your expertise. Even if I'm an annoying pain in the ace. You'd have enjoyed the conversation I had with a Bay Area prosecutor at a dinner party last weekend. Times like those I really appreciate TL even. It was so funny how this prosecutor, when I was describing awful experiences I have had with police (which include being held face down with a shotgun on my back at 12 years old), immediately reacted so defensively as to be comical. Big respect for you, J. Always, always, always.


    "...appreciate TL even MORE." (5.00 / 1) (#2)
    by Dadler on Tue May 06, 2014 at 01:54:21 PM EST
    Oy, proofread, you moron.

    This does not seem like usual (none / 0) (#7)
    by oculus on Wed May 07, 2014 at 03:14:46 PM EST
    Dinner party conversation. Who went first?

    Even the State... (none / 0) (#3)
    by Rumpole on Tue May 06, 2014 at 06:12:43 PM EST
    ear witnesses support OP's version broadly. The only real discrepancy is in their INTERPRETATION of the "screams" that they heard as being made by a woman and not a man (OP himself) as OP's "version" asserts.
     It really is NOT a big issue that witnesses can make errors in perception. It is a common human phenomena. Optical illusions provide a good example of how completely human perception can be "fooled", even when the person KNOWS he is perceiving something false. It is not a stretch at all the the two couples who are the only witnesses who claim "a woman screaming" are mistaken. In fact the evidence as a whole sets a time line where it is impossible that it was Reeva screaming at the time screams were heard by ALL witnesses, because she was incapable of screaming at those times (she was dead.
     Nel's limp and lacklustre cross examination of the Defense ear witnesses may well indicate that he is "throwing in the towel" on the impossible time line that the State has proposed, with gunshots occurring just after 3:17am. That makes no sense at all. It would be impossible in the light of all that is known to have had to occurred following the gunshots.

    I am fairly confused by the neighbor witnesses (none / 0) (#4)
    by leftwig on Wed May 07, 2014 at 09:15:06 AM EST
    for the defense.  There was a mention of a bang (not bangs and not multiple occurrences) and a man crying out.  When cross examined, the neighbor who essentially lived right next door said he didn't hear gun shots or the banging of the cricket bat against the door.  Now, I am not questiong his truthfullness, but how does this really help the defense and hurt the prosecution?  IF this witness didn't hear the gunshots or bangs against the door, then clearly he isn't contradicting the witnesses that heard screaming prior to these noises.  It does seem odd to me that the person could identify a male screaming, but not hear gunshots or the bangs on the door that the defense has said other witnesses mistook for gunshots, unless of course those other things didn't wake them up.

    I haven't had time to look at nearly enough of the statements to draw a conclusion, but one question I had was, did any of the defense ear witnesses mention hearing gun shots and banging of the bat on the door and when the screaming they heard occurred in relation to those other events?  The only witness I've had a chance to look at, which I think came from the first neighbor the defense called, said this under cross (after saying under direct that he had heard a bang and a man screaming):

    Nel: SO you never heard any shots or loud noises?

    MN: No, my lady

    Nel: Even on the accused version, he fired shots and then later broke down the door with a cricket bat?

    MN: Yes. I did not hear that my lady.

    Following up on previous post. (none / 0) (#5)
    by leftwig on Wed May 07, 2014 at 12:36:53 PM EST
    I got through the transcripts posted on SkyNews.  The defense intereviewed 3 witnesses.  Only 1 heard any bangs and she only heard 1.  She did not describe the sound she heard as a gunshot.  She heard the bang and woke up her husband (witness quoted in my previous post).  After waking up her husband, she heard the mail voice crying, moaning, etc.  Her husband heard no bangs, only a male voice crying out.  Third witness heard no bangs and identefied a male voice crying.  

    So of the 3 defense witnesses, only 1 heard a single bang and the other three heard a male voice crying out and in distress.  I don't see that any of these witnesses contradict the witnesses the prosecution put forth since these are describing the sounds they heard post banging and the other witnesses describe screams they heard before the banging ended.  They kinda dispute the one witness that said she heard a woman screaming during the bangs and possibly after the last bangs, but thats about it.  IT does seem really interesting that the witnesses further away described hearing 2 different sets of banging and the ones really close didn't hear any of those sounds or just one loan bang.  Since the defense and prosecution both seem to agree that 2 sets of banging occurred, I am not sure which witnesses the court will find more credible.

    For those with a better memory than I, did OP state that he went out on the patio and screamed for help before or after busting down the door with the cricket bat?  

    Not unusual at all (5.00 / 1) (#6)
    by jbindc on Wed May 07, 2014 at 12:44:49 PM EST
    IT does seem really interesting that the witnesses further away described hearing 2 different sets of banging and the ones really close didn't hear any of those sounds or just one loan bang

    I don't know how the various houses in the neighborhood are configured, but there are things called "Acoustic Shadows" where witnesses close to a scene (like a battle) couldn't hear anything, but people further away could hear it clearly.


    I guess I meant interesting in respect to this cas (5.00 / 1) (#8)
    by leftwig on Thu May 08, 2014 at 08:20:52 AM EST
    and what each side is presenting with its witnesses.  In this case, one of the defenses witnesses reports hearing 1 bang, then a male voice.  This witness presumably only heard the last bang which most seem to accept that the last bang would have been the last swing in a series of swings of the cricket bat against the door.  There were 4 gunshots and multiple other bangs against the door prior to this (as testified to by witnesses far away), but this one witness supposedly only heard one such noise.  Along with these other nearby witnesses not hearing gun shots, I found it interesting that this witness heard this one bang, but none of the others.

    I guess its possible that these witnesses were sound asleep and the gun shots and bangs (and womens screams described by other witnesses) didn't bring them out of their sleep initially so they only heard what happened after that was all over.  I am not suggesting they are lying, but if they only heard what happened after all the banging was done, then I don't think they contradict the states witnesses that mention hearing a womans voice screaming prior.


    Oh,I agree (none / 0) (#9)
    by jbindc on Thu May 08, 2014 at 08:45:41 AM EST