More witnesses testify about screams, shots in Oscar Pistorius trial

March 4, 2014 at 10:46 AM   |   Comments

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PRETORIA, South Africa, March 4 (UPI) -- A neighbor of South African sprinter Oscar Pistorius testified Tuesday he heard screams and gunfire the night Pistorius' girlfriend was shot and killed in 2013.

In the second day of the murder trial of Pistorius, accused of deliberately killing Reeva Steenkamp, Charl Johnson said he assumed someone was being robbed, and was surprised to learn that Pistorius had shot and killed Steenkamp, a model and reality television personality, Britain's the Guardian reported.

In an interview with NBC's "Today," June Steenkamp, the mother of the woman shot and killed by Pistorius, said she hasn't passed judgment on her daughter's accused killer.

"It's actually important to forgive him, for me, because I don't want to live with bitterness in my life," Steenkamp said. "I don't want that. I think that one has to forgive."

"If he made a mistake, and it's an enormous mistake ... and I've lost everything that's important to me, but still, I can forgive. I can forgive," she said.

During testimony, another witness, Johnson's wife, Michelle Burger, said she heard screams of a woman, not of a man crying in anguish on Feb. 14, 2013, the night of Steenkamp's death. Defense attorney have argued that Steenkamp's wounds were too serious for her to scream.

Pistorius, a Paralympic double-amputee sprinter, maintains he thought an intruder had entered his Pretoria home when he fired four shots into a closed bathroom door.

Another neighbor, Estelle van der Merwe, told the court she was awakened by an argument and heard noises, which could have been gunshots, on the night Steenkamp died.

The trial adjourned until Wednesday.

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