Oscar Pistorius' Own Expert Witness Contradicts Him
Pistorius' murder trial is adjourned for two weeks.
PRETORIA, South Africa April 17, 2014— -- Oscar Pistorius' murder trial was adjourned today for two weeks after one of the Blade Runner's own expert witnesses contradicted his testimony.
The expert defense witness, Roger Dixon, told the court under cross examination that after Pistorius shot his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp through a locked bathroom door, the model fell on to a magazine rack next to the toilet.
Pistorius has claimed that evidence from the police was unreliable because investigators had moved things around, including the magazine rack.
Dixon, who was hired to support the defense's version of events, said his reconstruction of the shooting concluded that the first bullet fired by Pistorius struck her in the hip as she was likely reaching for the door knob, forcing her to fall on the on the magazine rack.
Prosecutor Gerrie Nel quickly noted that Pistorius has claimed the magazine was not in that position when he used a cricket bat to bash a hole in the locked door and get to the mortally wounded Steenkamp.
"Whatever the accused is saying, you say he’s wrong?" Nel asked Dixon.
"My lady," Dixon replied, addressing his answer to the female judge. "I'm giving testimony on what I observe and interpret. I'm not saying anyone is right or wrong."
When pressed, Dixon added, "My lady, when the deceased fell, the magazine rack was there. I do not know what happened to it afterwards. It wasn’t there when Mr. Pistorius went in. That is his version of the events."
Pistorius, 27, is charged with the premeditated murder of his model girlfriend before dawn on Valentine's Day 2013. Pistorius, a legless sprinter, insists he heard a noise in the bathroom and mistook Steenkamp for an intruder. He could face at least 25 years in prison if convicted.
During his three days on the stand Dixon testified that Pistorius' bedroom was so dark during the night with the balcony curtain drawn that he could not see across the room, allowing that Pistorius may not have seen Steenkamp go into the bathroom. He told the court that Steenkamp was leaning forward on her right side as if reaching for the doorknob when she was shot, instead of the prosecution's version that she was standing and facing the door and likely arguing with Pistorius when she was shot.
Nel hammered Dixon so relentlessly on the methods he used and his qualifications to be an expert witness that Dixon took to Facebook today to complain. "Third day in court today. Let's see how much of my credibility, integrity and professional reputation is destroyed. It is difficult to get belief in those who will not listen because it is not what they want to hear," Dixon wrote.
Pistorius sat with his head down and hands against his ears barely listening to today's testimony.