News / Africa

    Police Expert: Pistorius Likely Not Wearing Prosthetics When Hitting Door

    Forensic investigator Johannes Vermeulen, with a cricket bat in hand, demonstrates on a mock-up toilet and door details of how the door could have been broken down, during the trial of Oscar Pistorius in Pretoria, South Africa, March 12, 2014.
    Forensic investigator Johannes Vermeulen, with a cricket bat in hand, demonstrates on a mock-up toilet and door details of how the door could have been broken down, during the trial of Oscar Pistorius in Pretoria, South Africa, March 12, 2014.
    VOA News
    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 after fatally shooting Reeva Steenkamp last year. 
     
    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.
     
    Oscar Pistorius arrives at the high court in Pretoria, South Africa, March 12, 2014.Oscar Pistorius arrives at the high court in Pretoria, South Africa, March 12, 2014.
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    Oscar Pistorius arrives at the high court in Pretoria, South Africa, March 12, 2014.
    Oscar Pistorius arrives at the high court in Pretoria, South Africa, March 12, 2014.
    "The marks on the door is actually consistent with him not having his legs on," Vermeulen said. "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.
     
    While cross-examining Vermeulen, defense lawyer Barry Roux said his team could show that Pistorius was in a standing position when he caused a mark on the door. 
     
    "We will present evidence that that mark was caused by the prosthesis kicking that door or making contact with that door, and the fabric of the sock was in fact still embedded and varnish of the door on the prosthesis," Roux said.
     
    Roux also tried to cast doubt on the initial police investigation, saying there was evidence that a foot print on the door was made by a police officer's shoe. 
     
    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" because of his carbon-fiber prosthetic legs.  In 2012, he became the first double-amputee to compete in the Olympics.
     
    • Oscar Pistorius leaves the high court in Pretoria, April 14, 2014.
    • Oscar Pistorius outside the North Gauteng High Court in Pretoria, April 10, 2014.
    • Jane Steenkamp, Reeva Steenkamp's mother is comforted by a relative after her dead daughter's picture was shown on screen during the trial of Oscar Pistorius at the North Gauteng High Court in Pretoria, April 9, 2014.
    • Family members, including uncle Arnold Pistorius, right, cry as they listen to Oscar Pistorius testifying in court in Pretoria, April 8, 2014.
    • Oscar Pistorius becomes emotional during his trial at the high court in Pretoria, April 7, 2014.
    • Members of the public crowd around Oscar Pistorius as he leaves the high court, Pretoria, March 12, 2014.

    • Oscar Pistorius cries as he prays with his sister Aimee and brother Carl at his indictment at the magistrates court in Pretoria, August 19, 2013.
    • This aerial image taken from video provided by VNS24/7 shows the home of Oscar Pistorius in a gated housing complex in Pretoria, Feb. 14, 2013.
    • Olympian runner Oscar Pistorius posing next to his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp at Melrose Arch in Johannesburg, Jan. 26, 2013.
    • Oscar Pistorius celebrates winning the men's 400 meter final during the London 2012 Paralympic Games, Sept. 8, 2012.

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    Comment Sorting
    Comments
         
    by: Copper
    March 12, 2014 11:59 PM
    When will the evidence from Oscar's cell phone be presented in Court? If relevant, this his could be the a vital key to the unraveling
    of this tragedy.

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