Reeva would have died quickly - pathologist

2014-04-07 11:47
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Oscar Pistorius in court - day 17

See pictures from day 17 of Oscar Pistorius's trial.

Pretoria - Reeva Steenkamp would have died within seconds after her boyfriend Oscar Pistorius shot her in the head, the North Gauteng High Court heard on Monday.

"I don't think she survived very long thereafter," testified retired pathologist Jan Botha as Pistorius rocked forward with his hand pulled over his head while listening to the evidence.

Botha said the four shots fired at Steenkamp that hit her thigh, arm and finally her head would have taken about four seconds, five at most.

Steenkamp would have been filled with emotions of shock, fear, possibly pain.

He testified that after being hit in the thigh, in his opinion, she slid down, was hit again in the arm and then in the head.

She would have had very little blood in her upper respiratory cavity.

"So I think death ensued very quickly after sustaining the head injury," said Botha.

Asked by Pistorius's lawyer, Barry Roux SC, if she could have called out as the shots were fired he said: "I think it's highly unlikely that she would have been able to call out."

He said: "Before she could react the remaining bullets would have struck her."

Pistorius has been charged with the murder of Steenkamp and contraventions of the Firearms Control Act. He said he thought there was an intruder in his house when he shot and killed Steenkamp in the early hours of Valentine's Day morning in his toilet last year. She had been spending the night.

He allegedly fired a shot from a Glock pistol under a table at a Johannesburg restaurant in January 2013.

On 30 September 2012 he allegedly shot through the open sunroof of a car with his 9mm pistol while driving with friends in Modderfontein.

Read more on:    reeva steenkamp  |  oscar pistorius  |  pistorius trial

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