PROSECUTOR: There Was 'Non-Stop Fighting' In Pistorius House For An Hour Before Shooting

Oscar Pistorius Reeva Steenkamp

Photo: AP

A reporter for Eyewitness News in Pretoria, South Africa, Barry Bateman, is doing an amazing job of Tweeting updates from the Oscar Pistorius bail hearing.

The prosecutors in the case are arguing that Pistorius is a flight risk and should not be granted bail. They are also laying out more details about why they believe Pistorius intentionally executed his girlfriend, Reeva Steenkamp. (Pistorius says the shooting was an accident.)

Among the revelations to come out in the hearing, according to Bateman:

  • The prosecutor, Gerrie Nel, says the state will produce a witness statement that there was “non-stop fighting” in the Pistorius household from 2am-3am
  • A key piece of forensic evidence suggests that the bullets that killed Steenkamp were intentionally aimed at the toilet and were fired at a downward angle. Pistorius has said he was not wearing his prosthetic legs when he fired the shots. The investigator in the case suggests that the bullets were fired from too great a height for that to be the case (and therefore concludes that Pistorius was wearing his legs).
  • The investigator suggests that Pistorius will also be charged with possessing an unlicensed weapon.
  • The investigator suggests that, in a prior gun incident, when Pistorius was playing with a gun and accidentally fired a bullet while in a restaurant, Pistorius persuaded a friend to accept the blame for him.
  • Pistorius has said that he started firing because he was worried about crime, in part because he had experienced crime before. The investigator says there is no record of Pistorius filing a crime complaint.
  • Two cell phones were found at the scene of the shooting. Neither had been used to call paramedics or the police (or anyone else).
  • The prosecutor recalls Pistorius statement that he slept with a gun because he was afraid of being robbed… but left the door open? (Pistorius testified that the bedroom balcony door was open).
  • The investigator says that, based on the evidence so far, it’s “highly unlikely” that Pistorius was trying to protect himself or Steenkamp
  • Pistorius testified that he was too scared to turn on the lights (thus, he didn’t realise that Steenkamp was no longer in the bed). The investigator says a witness will testify that the lights were on at the time of the gunshots.
  • The investigator believes Pistorius knew Steenkamp was in the bathroom and that he intentionally shot and killed her.
  • Investigator says (Another?) witness says he heard shots, looked at Pistorius house and saw lights on, then heard screams and more shots.

CROSS EXAMINATION: Pistorius attorney gets investigator to concede the following:

  • Pistorius mentioned the burglar when the investigator arrived
  • The trajectory of the bullets could be consistent with Pistorius story
  • One witness who said the lights were on also says he heard 8 shots (there were only 4)
  • The room is “pitch dark” when the lights are off
  • The other witness that heard screaming did not specifically say she heard Steenkamp’s voice or Pistorius’s voice
  • The witness’s house is 600 meters away from Pistorius’s house
  • Steenkamp had an “empty bladder,” which is consistent with her having just urinated (i.e., she was in the bathroom to do that, not protect herself)
  • Autopsy showed no sign of defensive wounds or assault
  • Pistorius called “Netcare” at 3:20am
  • The investigator went into the house without protective covers for his shoes (thus contaminating the scene).

Near the end of the hearing, the investigator says he “believes Pistorius will run.”

According to reporter Bateman, there are laughs from the gallery.

The hearing will continue tomorrow.

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