Oscar Pistorius Defense Is On The RopesBy: Toni Matthews-El - May 5, 2014
Oscar Pistorius’s defense team may be in serious trouble.
For more than a year, Pistorius has claimed that what happened on February 14th, 2013 was entirely accidental.
Pistorius stated that the early morning hours, he fired four shots through his bathroom door at what he thought was an intruder.
The 27-year-old had pegged himself as a man frightened for his life. Pistorius claimed he opened fire because he was physically vulnerable and felt he had no choice.
His girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp was supposedly shot entirely by accident after being mistaken for that intruder. Pistorius said that he thought that she was still in bed.
Pistorius’s version of events has been relentlessly attacked by chief prosecutor Gerrie Nel.
The prosecution is convinced that Steenkamp is not the victim of a mere accidental shooting
They are instead working to prove that Pistorius shot Steenkamp in anger and is now desperate to get away his actions.
The defendant did nothing to successfully counter this argument when he took the stand last month. He may have made things worse.
Pistorius, for whatever reason, gave a testimony that seemed to deviate from his original statements. His story became far more vivid and fleshed out than it had been originally. It’s almost as if he were working to explain questions raised by the prosecution rather than simply stay true to his story.
The only way forward seemed to be to present character witnesses, persons that were there at the scene who could verify that Pistorius’s story is one he has stuck to from the very beginning.
This is where neighbor and friend Johan Stander and his daughter Carice Viljoen came in.
Both were at the scene of Steenkamp’s murder shortly after it occurred.
According to Stander’s testimony, Pistorius called him in hysterics. The neighbor testified that Pistorius told him that he accidentally shot his girlfriend after mistaking her for an intruder.
Meanwhile Vijoen testified that she was worried for Pistorius’s mental state, fearing he might commit suicide. Both seemed to believe that Pistorius was telling the truth and communicated as much when on the stand.
The problem is that these persons, while witnesses to what Pistorius said after the shootings, were not actual witnesses to what happened that day.
Nel implied that it’s also possible that these friends could have simply given testimony to help Pistorius avoid taking any blame for his own actions.
There has been testimony from those called by the prosecution that Pistorius is not above asking friends to cover for him so he can avoid getting into trouble.
All the more reason why the defense may want to work to establish reasonable doubt rather than line up friends to make excuses for Oscar Pistorius.
This action when combined with Pistorius’s questionable testimony could do far more harm than good.
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