March 24, 2014

Oscar Pistorius From the Courtroom Week 3

In week three we heard from the Firearms Academy where Oscar took a course on gun safety and wrote an exam in order to be able to own guns.  Sean Rens gave evidence that Oscar passed this exam and was educated in safety practices i.e. knowing your target visually before firing.  I'd say an epic fail on that one since he could not see who was behind the commode closet door.  The witness gave the impression though that there was no excuse for Oscar's choices when it came to firearm practices.

Also, the police photographer, Warrant Officer Berand van Staden, went through the albums in evidence tediously with the prosecutor.  Items that stood out were the fact that the accused had washed his hands prior to a sample being taken of gunshot residue and blood.  The defense inquired why he chose certain particular photos of Oscar mostly bloody.  

The defence in my opinion has proved that the crime scene was contaminated by police and that some credibility is in question due to the missing watch, footprints, evidence handling without gloves etc.  Is it enough though?  No, as I believe the scene was also disturbed by the accused by moving the body, and when he went back upstairs to put a shirt on.  This would explain the blood on the bedroom wall, simply blood transfer.  He had blood on his hands and in moving his hands around blood was transferred to the wall.  I don't believe anything occurred in the bedroom.

Ballistics expert, Captain Christian Magena, was an excellent witness.  He knew his stuff and rarely had to refer to his notes.  It was very clear that:

  • Oscar was on his stumps at the time of the shooting.
  • He shot tap - pause - tap, tap, tap.
  • Reeva was in a standing position by the toilet bowl facing the door when the first shot impacted her right hip.  This bullet caused her to give out and became seated or slumped on the magazine rack.
  • The second bullet did not hit her, but hit the wall and ricocheted, which caused fragments of the bullet to spray hitting her in the back causing bruising.
  • The witness demonstrated how she was in a defensive position bringing her hands to her head with her arms bent upwards when the third bullet went through her upper left arm.
  • The fourth bullet hit the victim's head through her fingers when she slumped completely over at the waist and her head came to rest on the seat of the open toilet.  The blood from her head wound pooled into the bowl and the blood from her arm wound pooled on the floor below.   


The defence tried to rattle Officer Magena, but he wasn't having it.  It stood to his analysis and version of what transpired.

Blood spatter expert, Colonel Ian van der Nest, was a straightforward witness explaining the transfer of blood on the sitting room chair downstairs was simply cast off while the victim was carried down the stairs.  As was the blood on the cricket bat, simply transfer, the bat was not used in an blunt force trauma scenario on the victim.


Now that I've heard the ballistics expert where he describes the pause between the first and second shots and that there was no way it was a double tap because that second shot would have happened so fast it would have impacted Reeva's hip region a second time, I'm thinking she had time to scream out in pain and this is the female scream that the neighbour heard.  This would show intent to kill because the accused would hear and identify with the female scream.  Up until this evidence I hadn't heard the prosecution lay any groundwork for 'intent'.  

I remain reserved in my judgments until I have heard all the evidence from the defence.

Tyla







The Keyhole to My Mind's Closet

The Keyhole to My Mind's Closet
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