Pistorius trial told police wrong on order of shots

2014-05-09 12:59
Barry Roux and Oscar Pistorius in court. (Picture: Sapa)

Barry Roux and Oscar Pistorius in court. (Picture: Sapa)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

kalahari.com

Pretoria - A ballistics expert testifying for Oscar Pistorius's defence said on Friday the bullets that hit Reeva Steenkamp were not in the order prosecutors claimed, offering key evidence in the star's murder trial.

Wollie Wolmarans sought to show that the sequence of the bullets showed Steenkamp was reaching for the toilet door, and not putting her hands to her face defensively.

The model's final movements have been used by the defence to show Pistorius shot the 29-year-old mistaking her for an intruder, while the prosecution has sought to show he knew she was in the cubicle and wilfully fired.

Wolmarans told the court that Steenkamp was close to the toilet door and leaning slightly forward when the first of four gunshots hit her hip.

The next bullets hit her arm and hand, and the final bullet hit her head as she was falling backward.

Wolmarans's testimony runs in the face of police ballistics testimony, which said one bullet missed and ricocheted off the wall, injuring Steenkamp's back and that the final bullet hit her hand and head, as she was sitting in a defensive position with her hands over her head.

Defence claims bolstered

The defence witness said all four hollow-point bullets hit the 29-year-old model and law graduate, saying the same bullet could not have hit both her hand and head, otherwise there would be brain tissue found on her hand.

"I would not expect that tissue to go on the wall, it would be on the inside of the hand," said Wolmarans. He said the back wounds were "consistent with falling off a blunt surface" and caused when Steenkamp fell on a wooden magazine rack in the toilet.

The state's version, that Steenkamp fell into a seated position on the magazine rack, "doesn't make sense to me," said Wolmarans.

The expert testimony bolsters the defence claim Steenkamp was reaching for the toilet door handle when she was shot by Pistorius.

The Paralympic gold medallist claims he shot his girlfriend by accident, believing her to be an intruder in his upmarket Pretoria home.

In contrast, the state claims 27-year-old Pistorius shot Steenkamp in a fit of rage following an argument. If found guilty of premeditated murder, the double-amputee faces up to 25 years to life in prison.

Pistorius began the day in good spirits, cracking a rare smile in court as he greeted Wolmarans, an ex-policeman with over thirty years' experience in ballistics.

Yet as Wolmarans testified on graphic details about Steenkamp's death, the world famous athlete bent his head in the dock, shielding his eyes with his hand from photos of the bloody crime scene shown on the court television monitors.
Read more on:    reeva steenkamp  |  oscar pistorius  |  pistorius trial
SHARE:

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
36 comments
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining
 

Inside News24

 
/Wine
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.








Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.