Defense presents closing arguments in Oscar Pistorius trial

During Friday's closing arguments, Oscar Pistorius' defense team maintained that the killing of Reeva Steenkamp was accidental.
By JC Finley  |  Aug. 8, 2014 at 4:34 PM
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PRETORIA, South Africa, Aug. 8 (UPI) -- Closing arguments in the murder trial of Olympic athlete Oscar Pistorius concluded on Friday. A verdict is expected from Judge Thokozile Matilda Masipa on September 11.

Oscar Pistorius' defense team presented its closing arguments on Friday, challenging the closing arguments offered by the prosecution a day earlier.

The defense maintained that Pistorius accidentally killed girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp the night of February 14, 2013 when he mistook her for a burglar in the bathroom of his residence.

Chief defense attorney, Barry Roux, reiterated an explanation previously offered during the 41-day trial that Pistorius had suffered a "traumatic assault" when his legs were amputated, and on the night of the shooting he felt vulnerable because he was not wearing his prosthetic legs when he thought a burglar had broken into his house.

"He was standing at the door, vulnerable, anxious, with his finger on the trigger, and when he heard a noise, bang."

Roux also challenged the prosecution's assertion that the shooting, which they alleged was premeditated, had been preceded by an argument heard by neighbors. Roux said that a security guard reported all seemed normal at the Pistorius household late that night.

Because he did not intend to kill the suspected intruder, Roux argued that the charges brought against his client should not have been for murder but instead for culpable homicide.

The trial was adjourned until September 11 at which time the judge is expected to announce her verdict.

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