|Oscar Pistorius Trial: What to Look for in Week 2|
|By LIEZL THOM||Mar 9, 2014, 1:47 PM|
Olympic athlete Oscar Pistorius' lawyers are expected to cross examine the security guard on duty the night the man known as the "Blade Runner" shot and killed his girlfriend, when the murder trial resumes Monday.
Pieter Baba, the chief security guard on duty on the night Reeva Steenkamp was shot and killed, told the court on Friday that Pistorius told him everything was fine when he called after receiving reports from other residents that they had heard gunshots.
Baba said Pistorius phoned him back shortly thereafter but he was crying and did not say anything.
Barry Roux, the attorney leading the defense team, told Baba last week that he would come back to certain aspects of his evidence when the trial resumed.
Although Prosecutor Gerrie Nel has not revealed which of the 107 witnesses he will call next, it is expected that the pathologist who performed the post mortem examination on Steenkamp might be called to testify sometime this week, as the case proceeds in the High Court.
Pistorius pleaded not guilty to the four charges against him when his high profile court case started last week.
The State is trying to prove that he intentionally and deliberately set out to kill his model girlfriend in the early hours of Valentine's Day last year, but Pistorius remains adamant that it was a tragic case of mistaken identity.
In his plea explanation, which was read out in court, he said he thought there was an intruder in his home and that he acted in self defense.
So far, prosecutors have called nine witnesses -- four of them neighbors of Pistorius who all told the court they heard gunshots and a woman screaming.
Roux vigorously questioned all of them, especially husband and wife Michelle Burger and Charl Johnson, who he suggested colluded against Pistorius by adapting their evidence to suit the state's case. Both witnesses denied this.
One of the witnesses, a medical doctor who tried to resuscitate Steenkamp, told the court Pistorius cried and prayed, begging God to save the life of the woman he loved. It was during this evidence that the man nicknamed the "Blade Runner" started crying in the dock.
Three witnesses, including Pistorius' friend boxer Kevin Lerena, testified about a shooting incident inside a busy Johannesburg restaurant, after which Pistorius allegedly asked another friend to take the blame. This evidence relates to one of the three other charges against Pistorius.
A former girlfriend also testified last week. Samantha Taylor said the athlete once fired a round through a car's open sunroof in anger.
She told the court a traffic official, who had pulled over the vehicle they were traveling in for speeding, admonished Pistorius for leaving his firearm on the seat next to him. The official handled the weapon before handing it back, which Taylor said incensed her boyfriend so much that he contemplated shooting at a traffic light, before he simply fired through the sunroof and started laughing.
Taylor was adamant that the defense theory that the screams the neighbors heard could have been Pistorius was not true. She testified that Pistorius often shouted at her and at other people and did not sound like a woman at all.
The other theory Roux put to several witnesses was that what they had thought were gunshots were in fact the sound of Pistorius breaking down the bathroom door with a cricket bat after realising that it was Steenkamp behind it.
Burger and Johnson were unwavering in their opinion that what they had heard were gunshots, while Dr. Johan Stipp said he would not have been able to swing a bat that fast.
Stipp was also steadfast in his testimony that when he looked at Pistorius' home from his balcony after hearing sounds, the light in the bathroom was on. This is in direct contrast to the accused's version, which was that it was dark and he was too scared to switch on a light.
Pistorius, 27, is charged with premeditated murder and weapons counts in the killing of Steenkamp.
If he is convicted, the athlete could face at least 25 years in prison before he is eligible for parole.