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.
x
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.

You May Like

China Investigates Former Powerful Security Chief

Former security chief and member of Politburo Standing Committee, Zhou Yongkang, under investigation for suspected 'serious disciplinary violation' More

India, US Look to Reset Ties During Kerry Visit

This week's talks will be first high level interaction between two countries since Prime Minister Narendra Modi took charge More

Video Young African Leadership Program Renamed to Honor Mandela

YALI program, launched by President Obama in 2010, aims to build skills in business, entrepreneurship, public management and civic leadership More

This forum has been closed.
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.

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Vietnamese Staging Chinese Product Boycott After Oil Rig Spati
X
Reasey Poch
July 28, 2014 7:18 PM
China recently pulled an oil rig from an area of the disputed South China Sea that Vietnam also claims. Despite the action, the incident has had a lingering effect on consumers in Vietnam. VOA's Reasey Poch reports from Hanoi on an effort to boycott Chinese products.
Video

Video Vietnamese Staging Chinese Product Boycott After Oil Rig Spat

China recently pulled an oil rig from an area of the disputed South China Sea that Vietnam also claims. Despite the action, the incident has had a lingering effect on consumers in Vietnam. VOA's Reasey Poch reports from Hanoi on an effort to boycott Chinese products.
Video

Video ESA Spacecraft to Land on a Comet

After a long flight through deep space, a European Space Agency probe is finally approaching its target -- a comet millions of kilometers away from earth. Scientists say the mission may lead to some startling discoveries about the origins of the water on earth. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Young Africans Arrive in US for Leadership Program

President Barack Obama's Young African Leadership Initiative has brought hundreds of young Africans to the United States for a six-week program aimed at building their knowledge and skills in fields such as public administration and business. Out of the 50,000 young Africans who applied for the program, just one percent was accepted. VOA's Laurel Bowman caught up with some of those who made the cut and has this report.
Video

Video In Honduras, Amnesty Rumors Fuel US Migration Surges

False rumors in Central America are fueling the current surge of undocumented young people being apprehended at the U.S. border. The inaccurate claims suggest the U.S. will give amnesty to young migrants from the region. As VOA's Brian Padden reports from Honduras, these rumors trace back to President Obama's 2012 executive order to halt deportations for some young undocumented immigrants already living in the United States.
Video

Video Students in Business for Themselves

They're only high school students, but they are making accessories for shoes, fabricating backpacks and doing product photography - all through their own businesses. It's the result of a partnership between a non-profit organization that teaches entrepreneurship and their schools. VOA's Mike O'Sullivan and Deyane Moses met the budding entrepreneurs near Los Angeles.
Video

Video Astronauts Train in Underwater Lab

In the world’s only underwater laboratory, four U.S. astronauts train for a planned visit to an asteroid. The lab - called Aquarius- is located five kilometers off Key Largo, in southern Florida. Living in close quarters and making excursions only into the surrounding ocean, they try to simulate the daily routine of a crew that will someday travel to collect samples of a rock orbiting far away from earth. VOA’s George Putic has more.

AppleAndroid