The trial of Paralympics champion Oscar Pistorius resumed on Monday in South Africa.
On February 13, 2013, the South African runner shot his girlfriend, Reeva Steenkamp, at their home in Pretoria, South Africa. The athlete was charged with murder and taken into custody the following day. He was out on bail by August 22.
In court, Pistorius pleaded not guilty to intentionally killing Steenkamp. His statement says that he shot his girlfriend thinking that she was an intruder.
Michelle Burger, a witness in the trial who lived in the same complex as Pistorius, broke down in court as she recalled the screams that she heard on the night of Steenkamp’s death. Burger was traumatized and says that she still hears the shouts while she’s in the shower.
Burger took the stand on the second day of the trial. She lives 193 yards from the runner’s home and attested that she heard a woman and a man fighting, and a woman screaming through four gunshot sounds. She also said that the scream faded after the final shot.
Burger’s testimony is reported to go against what Pistorius says. According to him, he fired his gun through the toilet door four times, as he thought someone else was in the home. He believed Steenkamp was in bed when he shot the toilet door. Steenkamp was killed with three bullet wounds.
According to Barry Roux, chief defense lawyer, the screams that Burger heard were actually that of Pistorius’ who was shouting for help in a high voice after realizing that he had shot his girlfriend. Roux also said that Steenkamp was shot in the head and that she would have immediately fallen and lost all cognitive function, making it impossible for her to scream.
If convicted for premeditated murder, Pistorius will be facing a minimum of 25 years imprisonment without the possibility of parole. He is also facing charges on illegal possession of ammunition. Since there are no juries in South African trials, Judge Thokozile Masipa will be the one to ultimately decide Pistorius’ fate.
Reeva's mother wants to forgive Pistorius
Image via YouTube