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Oscar Pistorius' expert witness contradicts police ballistics expert

Oscar Pistorius Contradicted By Own Expert Witness

PRETORIA, South Africa (AP) - The prosecutor at the murder trial of Oscar Pistorius, a double-amputee Olympian, cross-examined one of the defense's forensic experts Thursday after the judge overseeing the case warned spectators watching the televised proceedings in an adjacent room for their "unruly" behavior.

Judge Thokozile Masipa said she had been made aware that people watching Pistorius' trial on television feeds in a courtroom next to the main trial room were shouting and cheering at times during the proceedings.

"It is not an entertainment place," Masipa said. She said that if the spectators did not adhere to court protocol in the second room, "security will ensure that they leave."

Because of the huge interest in the trial, court authorities set aside a second, "overflow" room at the Pretoria courthouse for reporters and other spectators to watch the trial proceedings on a big screen. Dozens of reporters are allowed in the main courtroom where the judge sits.

After Masipa's warning, chief prosecutor Gerrie Nel continued to question materials analyst and former policeman Roger Dixon on his findings regarding Pistorius' fatal shooting of girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp on Feb. 14, 2013. Dixon has offered a different sequence for the shots that killed Steenkamp, contradicting testimony by a police ballistics expert and the pathologist who did the autopsy on Steenkamp's body.

Nel, who also cross-examined Dixon on Wednesday, has criticized him for testifying about pathology, ballistics and other areas in which he acknowledged that he had no expertise.

Dixon testified that Steenkamp's wounds show she may have been in a different position than the prosecution says when she was shot multiple times through a toilet door by Pistorius. The athlete is charged with premeditated murder and is trying to show that he mistook Steenkamp for an intruder behind a toilet cubicle door in his bathroom when he shot her in the pre-dawn hours.

The sequence of gunshots and positioning of Steenkamp when she was hit is critical to the cases of the prosecution and the defense.

The prosecution says Steenkamp was hit in the hip by the first of four shots, and then hit in the arm and head by the third and fourth shots after she collapsed. The second shot missed, according to the prosecution. Dixon has agreed that Steenkamp was hit in the hip by the first shot, but suggested the second shot hit her in the arm as she was reaching to open the toilet door.

Dixon's theory could cast doubt on the prosecution's argument that Steenkamp was in the midst of a fight with Pistorius and trying to hide from him.

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muffin April 17 2014 at 4:02 PM

from Oscar Mayer tv commercial:

My bologna has a first name
It's O-S-C-A-R

My bologna has a second name
It's L-I-A-R

I will lie and lie everyday
If you ask me why I'll say

'Cause OSCAR LIAR has a way
with B-O-L-O-G-N-A

How's that?


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2 replies
acowgurl muffin April 17 2014 at 4:33 PM

Ha! Have to admit, that's pretty funny

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brams2002 muffin April 17 2014 at 4:35 PM

Makes 104% sense. Not sure if the boy will be found guilty though. Tricky case. I don't like him. Well, not my type. Ha. The other day I saw a film re Reeva and her family. Story was about the short-lived relationship Reeva had with this fella. Supposedly he is very controlling, bossy the works. Why Reeva kept dating (especially sleeping) him, without knowing OP for very long, is beyond me. I would never. She set herself up. After viewing the film this is what I learned. Just a terrible story. Unfortunately, it's the family's realty. Reeva's mom is so loving. Was very devoted to her daughter. Sad.

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John H. Bidwell April 17 2014 at 5:03 PM

I would suspect she had to be on the door to prevent him from opening it- it was do or die- she had no chance.

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Inisa April 17 2014 at 5:02 PM

Gerrie Nel destroyed this witnesses testimony. Just like he is destroying the defenses case.

I think OP picked up her cellphone to see if she was talking to anyone before he shot her.

He is going to jail.

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kilbyhanna April 17 2014 at 4:51 PM

The last thing anybody would do when they are being shot at, would be to open the door! That defies common sense. What else is new with the defense's case.

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mlsmvm April 17 2014 at 5:28 PM

What was Steenkamp doing in the toilet? Using it or hiding can be determined from the evidence. If using and shot then at least a possibility of mistake by Oscar. If evidence points no use of facility then possibly she was hiding.

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eeodjo April 17 2014 at 5:19 PM

Okay, let's see. Four shots have been fired. A former policeman, Roger Dixon, who acknowledged that he has no an expertise on pathology ballistics testified DIFFERENTLY, contradicting the testimony of the police expert on ballistics and the patholigist concerning how the 4 shots entered the victim's body. My question is: What difference would it make how the 1st, 2nd, 3rd and 4th shot entered her body?? We have a DEAD VICTIM HERE from the gunshot wounds!!! But only ONE SHOOTER. My other question: Do you have to get a Rocket Scientist to figure this out?

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muffin April 17 2014 at 4:38 PM

The expert was an expert in geology. Why would she want to open the door after he already shot her once. How is it determined which shot was fired 1st, 2nd, 3rd, and 4th? The fact that he shot her and she died seems to be the important thing here.

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rosemaryram April 17 2014 at 4:38 PM

Guilty, guilty, guilty. The poor innocent, unarmed, beautiful lady was trying to hide from this devil, Pistorius, never considering he would shoot her through a locked bathroom door. She should have fled the apartment immediately knowing Pistorius's overbearing temper. She should have ran for her life. Leave, but she did not, and now she is dead. A tragic story.

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Tessa April 17 2014 at 5:39 PM

Maybe they weren't arguing. Perhaps she got up in the middle of the night to use the bathroom and brought her phone with her. I bring my phone to the bathroom with me so I can use it as a light when I walk down the dark hallway. And maybe then that's when Oscar thought it would be a perfect time to kill her. She was behind a closed door and wouldn't be suspecting a thing....I totally believe in my heart that he murdered her. But maybe the prosecution has the story wrong too...

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gina24lt April 17 2014 at 4:09 PM

"Because of the huge interest in the trial, court authorities set aside a second, "overflow" room at the Pretoria courthouse for reporters and other spectators to watch the trial proceedings on a big screen. "

You have GOT to be kidding me. These people need therapy.

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2 replies
muffin gina24lt April 17 2014 at 4:30 PM

Yet they stand outside the courtroom and yell, "I Love You" or ask for autograph, or cheer in general. What will they do if the judge goes against what the people want?

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1 reply
Inisa muffin April 17 2014 at 4:59 PM


The judge is going to send Pistorius to jail.

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brams2002 gina24lt April 17 2014 at 4:37 PM

USA has had likewise trials. To accomodate crazy individuals that cannot miss out on one word of a murder trial. Our world is craaazeeee. Hey lady, think gina24It ..... THINK!!

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