Was it Murder? or Just a Mistake?
by Cass Waters
A police detective, testifying at Oscar Pistorius’ bail hearing Wednesday, said that police have not found anything inconsistent with how the star athlete described his shooting of his girlfriend — a killing that Pistorius says was accidental but which prosecutors call murder.
The second day of the bail hearing in a case that has riveted South Africa and much of the world appeared at first to go against the double amputee, with prosecutor Gerrie Nel saying a witness can testify to hearing “non-stop talking, like shouting” between 2 a.m. and 3 a.m. before the predawn shooting on Valentine’s Day.
Pistorius said in an affidavit read in court Tuesday that he and girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp, a 29-year-old model and budding reality TV star, had gone to bed and that when he awoke during the night he detected what he thought was an intruder in the bathroom.
He testified that he grabbed his 9 mm pistol and fired into the bathroom door, only to discover later to his horror that Steenkamp was there, mortally wounded. Pistorius, the first Paralympian runner to compete at the Olympic Games, is charged with premeditated murder in the case.
The prosecution attempted to cement its argument that the couple had a shouting match, that Steenkamp fled and locked herself into the toilet and that Pistorius fired four shots through the door, hitting her with three bullets. Botha added: “I believe that he knew that Reeva was in the bathroom and he shot four shots through the door.”
Botha, a 16-year police veteran, said the trajectory of the bullets showed the gun was fired pointed down and from a height. Pistorius’ statement Tuesday said that he was on his stumps and feeling vulnerable when he opened fired. Nel has said the killing was premeditated because Pistorius took time to put on his prosthetic legs before the shooting.
Defense attorney Barry Roux asked Botha if Steenkamp’s body showed “any pattern of defensive wounds,” and the detective said it did not. Hilton said the shots were fired from 5 feet and that police found three spent cartridges in the bathroom and one in the hallway connecting the bathroom to the bedroom. Botha said the girlfriend was shot in the head over her right ear and in her right elbow and hip, with both joints broken by the impacts.The detective said that all Pistorius would say after the shooting was “he thought it was a burglar.”
What do you think? Was it murder? or just someone who made a terrible mistake? Leave your comments on the matter and what you think.