- Nastasya Tay at Yahoo Sports17 hrs ago
PRETORIA, South Africa – The photographs begin in Oscar Pistorius' foyer, a wide shot, showing off its double-volume ceiling and staircase landing, and a raw wood sculpture mounted on a metal frame. Around the corner, a cluster of cream leather armchairs, arranged casually around an Nguni cattle skin rug, an ottoman coffee table, and an unvarnished wine rack with bottles of red. Then the photographer zooms in, to the rust red dots on the upholstery.
The blood spots are tiny, but they're everywhere: on the armchairs, on the mottled stone tiles, dotted around the entrance hall and up the stairs. They continue, up onto the whitewashed wall and onto the brushed metal balustrade, where they become a smear in front of the star athlete's trophies, out of focus in the background. There's a view of the spattered white wall from the first floor landing, a series of bland pastoral scenes framed in dark wood.
It is the first time the court has been offered a glimpse of the Paralympian's home, beyond the bathroom where he shot and killed his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp.
- Yahoo Sports1 day ago
PRETORIA, South Africa – As the court heard testimony Wednesday from a forensic expert contradicting Oscar Pistorius' account of the Valentine's morning he shot his girlfriend, the former Olympic star's defense team showed police – literally – trampled the evidence.
Col. J.G. Vermeulen, a forensic scientist with 29 years of experience, got down on his knees in the courtroom in front of Pistorius' reconstructed toilet door that was part of a scale replica of the cubicle in which Pistorius fatally shot girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp.
The battered maranti wood door, reassembled by police and now hanging from a white frame on the prosecution's side of court, was marked with small tabs pointing toward the bullet holes in the grain. Behind it was the reconstructed 4½-foot-by-4½-foot cubicle, replete with ceramic toilet.
The door is still missing the splintered fragments next to the brass door handle, where the Olympic sprinter broke the wood panel with his signed Lazer English Willow cricket bat.
- Nastasya Tay at Yahoo Sports2 days ago
PRETORIA, South Africa – It would have been "abnormal" for Reeva Steenkamp not to scream while she was being shot, says the pathologist who conducted her autopsy, provided she had not yet received the head wound that knocked her out.
Pathologist Gert Saayman said Steenkamp would have been able to "rationally conduct" herself despite other wounds until her boyfriend, Paralympian Oscar Pistorius, shot her in the head on Valentine's morning last year.
A major point of contention in the trial will be the order in which the bullets Pistorius fired hit Steenkamp, as prosecution witnesses have insisted they discerned female screaming during and prior to the "bangs" they heard.
The athlete, in his account of events, is adamant that Steenkamp made no verbal sound while she was behind the locked toilet door, so he mistook her for an intruder.
- Yahoo Sports3 days ago
PRETORIA, South Africa – Clutching a white handkerchief in his fingers, Oscar Pistorius tried to cover his ears and threw up.
The Paralympian gagged and heaved with sobs, as forensic pathologist Gert Saayman detailed the injuries he inflicted on his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp, in the pre-dawn hours of Valentine's morning last year.
Hunched over a plastic bucket in the dock, the murder-accused vomited repeatedly, as Saayman read his 12-page matter-of-fact autopsy report, paragraph by paragraph.
Concerned about Pistorius' state, Judge Thokozile Masipa initially called for a brief adjournment to allow the athlete to gather himself. But when court reconvened, it became evident that his emotional upheaval was not a passing episode.
"Is your client fine?" Judge Masipa asked defense counsel Barry Roux.
"He's not fine, my lady," he replied. "He is very emotional and that isn't going to change."
Monday's testimony began with Pieter Baba, the nightshift security guard who said he spoke with Pistorius after he shot Steenkamp, insisting that the athlete told him, "Everything is fine."
- Nastasya Tay at Yahoo Sports6 days ago
PRETORIA, South Africa – At the end of a week of testimony detailing the timeline of Valentine's Day morning last year – pre-dawn noises, phone records and screams – prosecutor Gerrie Nel has begun to take a different tack of portraying Oscar Pistorius.
On Friday, the state attempted to paint a picture of the man behind the star athlete's exterior: depicting him as someone with a fiery temper and disdain for authority, who likes his guns and women.
Ex-girlfriend Samantha Taylor broke down on the stand as she recounted his cheating – first with a woman while competing abroad, and then with model Reeva Steenkamp – which ended their relationship.
Pistorius' shoulders visibly heaved with a sigh as defense attorney Barry Roux asked about their relationship history.
Taylor was only 17 when they began dating in 2011, but they remained in a relationship reportedly for 18 months. She described to the court the Paralympian's fits of anger, screaming at her, her sister, and their friends on numerous occasions.
Last year, after Pistorius shot Steenkamp, Taylor told a local newspaper, "Oscar is certainly not what people think he is."
Oscar Pistorius trial Day 4: Blade Runner covers his ears as chilling details emerge in girlfriend's final minutesYahoo Sports7 days ago
PRETORIA, South Africa – It is the date inscribed on his bicep in black ink: March 6.
Twelve years ago, Oscar Pistorius lost his mother. Today, he covered his ears in the dock, trying to block out the words of the man who tried to save his girlfriend's life, as he described her injuries in court.
"I tried to assist, to look for signs of life," radiologist Johan Stipp recounted, describing what happened after arriving at Pistorius' door in the pre-dawn hours of Valentine's Day last year where he saw Reeva Steenkamp laying on the floor. "There was no pulse in the neck, no peripheral pulse, no breathing movements. … She was clenching down on Oscar's fingers as he tried to open her airway."
Assessing her wounds – in her right thigh, her right upper arm and a terrible head injury – Stipp says he realized she was "mortally wounded" and that he could do nothing to help her.
It was a matter-of-fact, but graphic description, and it reduced the Blade Runner to tears.
- Nastasya Tay at Yahoo Sports8 days ago
PRETORIA, South Africa – It was a better day in court for Oscar Pistorius, who showed a brief flash of South Africa's former golden boy when he left the courtroom after proceedings on Wednesday, greeting journalists with a wink and a handshake, and hugging his family.
The damp morning brought with it some progress for the defense, as it became evident during cross-examination that the testimony of the State's third witness Charl Johnson may not necessarily contradict the Blade Runner's account of what happened in the pre-dawn hours of Valentine's morning last year, when he shot and killed his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp. At issue is what witnesses heard when, a distinction that could cast doubt over the prosecution's suggestion that the Olympian shot his girlfriend after an argument.
- Yahoo Sports9 days ago
PRETORIA, South Africa – Oscar Pistorius' defense attorney Barry Roux is an imposing man.
Broad-shouldered and tall, he cuts a formidable figure at the front of Courtroom GD. But his real clout is revealed during cross-examination, which at one point had Pistorius burying his head in his hands, weeping.
During the Pistorius' February bail hearing for the murder of 29-year-old Reeva Steenkamp, Roux reduced former investigating officer Hilton Botha – a man with 24 years of experience in the police service – to a confused stutter, with the officer eventually admitting that he "didn't have any facts."
Roux is regarded as one of South Africa's foremost attorneys, defending a slew of high-profile clients, including several wealthy businessmen on charges of fraud and tax evasion.
The seasoned lawyer is believed to be receiving more than $5,000 a day to defend the Blade Runner, who is on trial for the shooting death of Steenkamp on Feb. 14, 2013.
Roux's resonant voice cajoles and accuses, rarely letting an issue drop until he's got what he wants. But he may have met his match in prosecution witness Michelle Burger.
- Nastasya Tay at Yahoo Sports10 days ago
PRETORIA, South Arica – A scream, then a man's shouted cries for help, "bloodcurdling" screaming, four gunshots, and a woman's voice fading in the distance.
When university lecturer Michelle Burger went to bed on Valentine's eve last year, she did not expect to be woken by screams from the housing estate neighboring her own.
In a simple black blazer with her hair pinned just behind the crown of her head, Burger, the state prosecution's first witness in the trial against murder-accused Olympian Oscar Pistorius, began her testimony timidly, growing bolder with indignance during cross examination.
Awoken by cries just after 3 o'clock in the morning, Burger told the court she heard a man's voice shouting, "Help, help, help!" followed by intensifying screaming from a woman "to a climax," then four gun shots, with a pause between the first and second.
- Nastasya Tay at Yahoo! Sports6 mths ago
PRETORIA, South Africa – A woman screamed, then silence, then gunshots and more screaming. This is the scene described in the prosecution's indictment of Oscar Pistorius for the Valentine's Day murder of his girlfriend, Reeva Steenkamp.
The Olympic star who walked into Courtroom C on Monday was a visibly troubled young man. Pistorius looked decidedly younger than during his previous court appearances, longer hair lending the 26-year-old a boyish air; the confidence he's been lauded for on the running track and trademark easy smile notably absent.
It was his third court appearance since he was arrested for the fatal shooting of his girlfriend in the early hours of Valentine's morning.
Brow determinedly furrowed, he turned his back on the bank of camera flashes that met his arrival, instead clasping the hands of his brother Carl and sister Aimee, their heads bowed in prayer.
Before proceedings even began, Pistorius wiped a single tear from his cheek, leaning over to dab at his sister's eyes with a handkerchief.