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Eric Rimmer
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Oscar Pistorius - Guilty of What?

21 April 2014, 12:30

I have been following the OP case with great interest and have spent a fair amount of time watching the live broadcast, reading news articles and reader’s comments as well as doing some research and watching analysis of the case taken from various viewpoints. Whilst it is too early to reach a verdict as some witnesses are yet to be called and we have not heard closing arguments from either side let’s take a look at what we have thus far.

What we do know is that, by his own admission, OP shot and killed RS. There is no “reasonable doubt” argument to be had as this is plain fact and the prosecution does not have to prove anything.

The question therefore remains whether there was intent or not. Motive is also something which does not have to be proved by the prosecution. A motive would help the prosecution’s case however this is not a requirement.

Whether this was an accidental act or whether OP was defending himself and RS from an intruder is the next question. It is important to note that OP’s initial defence was that of self-defence. However during cross examination OP claimed that there was no intent and he didn’t think before shooting and killing RS was accidental.

One cannot have two defences. The onus here is on the defence to prove either case beyond “reasonable doubt”.

Let us assume that the events as described by OP are indeed all 100% true and correct and events really did unfold the way he explains it. Let’s give OP the benefit of the doubt. What then remains is to question OP’s actions from when he heard the sound of the window closing until such time as he pulled the trigger.

When hearing the window OP made a conscious decision to fetch his firearm and his thoughts were clear enough for him to speak to RS and tell her to phone the police. He then proceeded to the beginning of the passage which led to the bathroom.

During this time he shouted at both the intruder and RS, the former to instruct them to get out of his house and the latter to take cover and call the police.

Again some clear thought patterns here.

OP then proceeded down the passage to the bathroom. At this stage he was extra careful all the time thinking of the location of the intruder and the possibility that they may come around the corner from the bathroom into the passage.

Note here the clear recollection of events thus far along with the clear though patterns of what may happen next. Also important is the fact that although feeling threatened and vulnerable OP has decided to move towards the danger and not away from it.

Now OP enters the bathroom and notices the window open and the toilet door closed. He hears a noise from inside the toilet and believes that the intruder is coming out. OP does not fire a warning shot and especially not into the shower as he is acutely aware that the bullet may ricochet and harm him.

This again shows a clear thought process.

The events after the shooting is just about agreed upon by both the state and the defence team except for a couple of items however let’s again assume that they unfolded as per OP’s version. Again there is a lot of detail in this version.

So what am I saying? The above is pretty clear to me. OP killed RS (own admission). OP’s thought’s before and after the shooting were calculated and he appears cognizant at all times (amount of detail in recollection of events).

This rules out the accidental shooting defense. As previously indicated OP moved towards the danger. This is important as now OP becomes the attacker and not the defender (one cannot be both) which rules out self-defence. What is therefore left is intent.

The above only take’s OP’s version of events and assumes them to be true. It seems to me that OP has proved the prosecution case purely with his version of events – but that’s just my opinion.

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