March 12, 2014
Forensic Analyst: Pistorius Likely Not Wearing Prosthetics When Hitting Door
A South African police forensics analyst says Oscar Pistorius was probably not wearing his prosthetic legs when he used a cricket bat to hit the door through which he fatally shot his girlfriend, an assertion that counters claims made by the athlete.
In court testimony on Wednesday, Johannes Vermeulen said he believes Pistorius was on his stumps when he used the bat to try to break open the door last year, after fatally shooting Reeva Steenkamp.
The door was set up in the courtroom as Vermeulen described how marks on the bat matched one smaller and one larger hole in the door.
"The marks on the door is actually consistent with him not having his legs on. I suspect it must be similar to the, to the height he was when he fired the shots."
Pistorius said in an affidavit during a bail hearing last year that he had put on the prosthetics prior to hitting the door with a cricket bat.
His lawyer, in cross-examining Vermeulen, said the defense team could show the same marks can be made by someone in a standing position.
Prosecutors accuse Pistorius of murdering Steenkamp after an argument, while he says he thought he was shooting at an intruder.
The runner has pleaded not guilty to charges of murder, recklessly discharging a firearm and illegally possessing ammunition.
If convicted of premeditated murder, he faces a life sentence.
Pistorius is known as the "Blade Runner" for his carbon-fiber prosthetic legs. In 2012, he became the first double-amputee to compete in the Olympics.
"The investigation revealed that the cricket bat actually made a physical match with the marks, which is undisputable confirmation that the bat was used to bash the door."