Expert: Pistorius was on stumps during Steenkamp shooting

Testimony supports defense's assertion that the killing was not premeditated.
By Evan Bleier   |   March 19, 2014 at 7:32 AM   |   Comments

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March 19 (UPI) -- According to testimony given by a police ballistics expert, Oscar Pistorius was probably not wearing his prosthetic legs when he shot and killed Reeva Steenkamp on Valentine's Day 2013.

Captain Christian Mangena told the court that Pistorius was most likely on his stumps based on his analysis of the trajectory of the bullets that killed Steenkamp.

Pistorius claims that he shot the model because he thought she was an intruder, but the prosecution maintains that he killed her after an argument.

The issue of whether the “Blade Runner” was wearing the prostheses when he fired the fatal shots is important because it is considered to be a good indicator as to whether the shooting was premeditated or not. Capt. Mangena’s testimony supports the defense’s argument on Pistorius’ behalf.

The trial had originally been set to last about three weeks, but it appears that it will be extended to include the testimony of more than 100 witnesses. There are no jury trials in South Africa, so a judge and two assessors will decide what, if anything, happens to Pistorius.

If he is found guilty, the 27-year-old could be sentenced to life behind bars.


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