The damning evidence in the Oscar Pistorius trial will test his hard-hitting lawyer Barry Roux and his cross examination skills.
The evidence comes from the security guard on duty when Reeva Steenkamp, 29, was killed. He provided some damning evidence against the athlete who has denied the murder of Steenkamp. The evidence comes at the end of the first week of the trial.
Pistorius, 27, faces one charge of murder and a firearms charge associated with Steenkamp’s killing on Valentine’s Day 2013. There are also two gun indictments unrelated to her death.
“Security, everything is fine,” Pistorius told Pieter Baba when Baba called the apartment to check reports of a shooting in the compound.
CNN report that Baba could hear Pistorius was crying, the security shift supervisor said, and he knew everything was not fine.
Baba arrived at the house in time to witness Pistorius coming down the stairs carrying Steenkamp.
“I was so shocked, I couldn’t think for a few moments,” Baba testified originally.
Of the witnesses called so far, Baba was the earliest to arrive on the scene. He was still on the stand Friday and will be first up Monday, when the defense will have more time to cross-examine his story.
Cheating Pistorius – Another witness who testified Friday, former Pistorius girlfriend Samantha Taylor, said their relationship ended when he cheated on her with Steenkamp.
Prosecutor Gerrie Nel asked Taylor if she was ever at Pistorius’ house when he thought there was an intruder and Taylor said yes.
She told the court that Pistorius once heard something hit the bathroom window and woke her up to ask if she’d heard it, too, before taking his gun and going to investigate. Taylor said Pistorius woke her up other times when he thought he’d heard a noise.
Taylor also testified that Pistorius slept with a pistol on his bedside table or on the floor beside his prosthetic legs and once became so angry after a traffic stop that he shot a gun through the sunroof of a car.
Taylor said she met Pistorius in 2010, when she was 17, and they started dating the following year. She said they broke up twice, the second time on November 4, 2012, after he took Steenkamp to a sports banquet.
Defense attorney Barry Roux asked if Taylor admitted in two e-mails to cheating on Pistorius. Taylor says she’s never admitted to cheating on him but admits she had a relationship with another man after they broke up the first time.
Roux also asked Taylor for details about the time he supposedly shot the gun out of a car sunroof, but Taylor could not remember the name of the highway or the location in South Africa.
Taylor testified that Pistorius was angry and irritated after the traffic stop, even though he was not driving. She said he joked around about firing a shot and then laughed after he fired.
Nel put four neighbors of Pistorius on the stand during the first week of the trial, all of whom described hearing screaming and loud bangs they thought were gunshots the night of the killing.
Roux then tried to find inconsistencies or uncertainty in their stories. The defense goal is to prove there is a reasonable doubt about the guilt of the accused.
One of the most dramatic witnesses was a neighbor, Johan Stipp, who rushed to the track star’s home the night he shot Steenkamp.
Pistorius broke down in court Thursday as Stipp said said he saw Steenkamp lying on the floor, her brain tissue mixed with blood and Pistorius praying for her to live.
“I remember the first thing he said when I got there was, ‘I shot her, I thought she was a burglar and I shot her,’ ” Stipp told the court in Pretoria.
Although Stipp is a prosecution witness, his testimony may bolster the defense case, CNN legal analyst Kelly Phelps said after Thursday’s gripping testimony.
Prosecutors appear to have been trying to demonstrate that Pistorius and Steenkamp had a loud argument before the shooting, suggesting it’s the reason he killed her.
But the defense is proposing that what neighbors thought was Steenkamp screaming in fear for her life was in fact Pistorius when he realized what he had done.
Pistorius and at least two neighbors made phone calls to security after the shooting, allowing the defense to use phone records to establish a timeline of events.