Thursday, February 21, 2013

Blade Runner Attorney: No Forensic Evidence

The attorney says that there is no forensic evidence.

He's forgetting about that pesky body that was lying dead on the floor.  How many shots did he fire that aren't forensic?

 I like the way media words it here:


There is no forensic evidence to prove that Oscar Pistorius murdered his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp, the Olympian's lawyer has told the court.
Barry Roux, acting for Pistorius, today attempted to pick apart the prosecution's claims arguing that the athlete better known as Blade Runner should be granted bail.
He said that the quality of the police evidence against the 26-year-old was poor and exposed "disastrous shortcomings" in the case.
Mr Roux outlined his case on the third day of Pistorius' bail hearing as the sporting hero sobbed in the dock.
Speaking from the court in Pretoria, Sky's Alex Crawford said: "He (Mr Roux) has started going point-by-point through each of the charges, or points, that the state has made as to why he (Pistorius) should not get bail.
"He has basically tried to steer the magistrate towards thinking that Oscar Pistorius has exceptional circumstances why he should be granted bail."

Oscar Pistorius arrives in court
Oscar Pistorius holds a tissue as the defence outlines its case

The defence also pointed out that:
:: Pistorius tried to save Miss Steenkamp's life by carrying her downstairs and calling Netcare.
:: Pistorius didn't know the toilet door was locked when he shot - addressing the prosecution question over why a burglar would lock themselves in the bathroom.
:: Lead investigating officer Hilton Botha "did not show honesty" when giving evidence.
:: Botha tailored his evidence to incriminate Pistorius as much as possible.
:: Pistorius and Miss Steenkamp had a loving relationship and the prosecution had not proved otherwise.
:: If Pistorius had waited for police to arrive after Miss Steenkamp's death, why would he abscond now?

The  family of South African Olympic sprinter Oscar Pistorius, his father Henke (4thL) and his sister Aimee (3rdL)
The family of Pistorius watch proceedings intently

Magistrate Desmond Nair asked Mr Roux: "Do you think there will be shock if the accused is released?"
Mr Roux replied: "No, after hearing his defence I think there will be shock if he's not."
The defence laid out its case amid scenes of high drama as proceedings were halted because of a "threat outside the court". However, no threat emerged and the court reconvened with no explanation from the magistrate over the adjournment.
Responding, the prosecution said:
:: He fired four shots so it was clear that Pistorius planned to kill someone.
:: Asked why he had not woken his girlfriend to ask her if she had heard and intruder?
:: Questioned why Miss Steenkamp had taken her mobile phone with her to the toilet at 3am.
The court has been adjourned and will reconvene tomorrow.

South African investigating officer Hilton Botha attends the bail hearing of South African Olympic sprinter Oscar Pistorius
Detective Hilton Botha is facing charges of attempted murder

He is alleged to have shot at seven passengers as he attempted to stop a minibus in October 2011 while drunk on duty.
The charges were initially dropped but the state prosecutor reinstated them in the days before Miss Steenkamp was killed.
Police said that they were only informed of the reinstated charges yesterday and had subsequently bolstered the team investigating the killing of Miss Steenkamp.
Botha, who will himself appear in court in May, denies that he had been drinking and said that the people he was shooting at were suspects in an investigation.
The officer was summoned to the court by the magistrate this morning, however, the attempted murder charges were not addressed.
Instead Botha was asked about mobile phone records for Miss Steenkamp and Pistorius around the hours of the shooting.
Under cross-examination on Wednesday, Botha was accused of contaminating the crime scene in the Paralympic star's home and backtracked on key details, including the distance of witnesses from the house.
In his often confused testimony, Botha, who was described as a 24-year police veteran with 16 years experience as a detective, conceded that police had left a 9 mm slug from the shots that killed Miss Steenkamp inside a toilet at the scene.

Oscar Pistorius is sponsored by Nike and Oakley
Nike has suspended its endorsement of Pistorius

Police also lost track of illegal ammunition found inside the house, Botha said, and the detective himself walked through the crime scene without wearing protective shoe covers, potentially contaminating the area.
He also claimed in court that police found boxes of testosterone and needles in Pistorius' bedroom following the Valentine's Day shooting last week, but then said later he wasn't sure what the exact name of the substance was.
Miss Steenkamp, 29, was hit by three bullets - one in the head, the hip and arm, Pretoria Magistrates Court heard.
Pistorius has admitted shooting the model with a 9mm pistol pulled from under his bed, but claims he did so thinking she was a burglar who was in the bathroom.
After realising his mistake, he said he broke down the door with a cricket bat and carried her downstairs.
A spokesman said: "We believe Oscar Pistorius should be afforded due process and we will continue to monitor the situation closely."
:: The family of the athlete have devoted his official website to updates about the bail hearing and messages of support.
"We will issue at least two statements a day, in order to provide the media with the freshest news, taking into account the time differences," said Janine Hills, the chief executive of Vuma corporate reputation management.

17 comments:

Red Ryder said...

Under Criminal Justice In South Africa from Wiki~ nice article.
There are some major differences between their system and the U.S. system. They have a judge as the sole arbiter of justice ~guilt/innocence and sentence/conditions. It's very interesting! Prosecution presents 1st has to share all evidence/witnesses with defense. Everything pros. says carries a lot of weight. Then defense presents. If the defendant does not testify (though they have the right not to) it is essentially considered an admission of guilt. If a witness has lied about one point of evidence it does not prevent the court from accepting the rest of his testimony. Also the judge may call witnesses after the pros and defense are done as his/her function is to administer justice and will clarify whatever points need clarifying before rendering a decision.
I can see the benefits of having a knowledgeable and experienced person as opposed to the travesty of the Pinellas 12 passing judgement, though I would prefer a triumvirate court if it were me in the docket just to be sure:)
Also, the minimum sentence for pre-planned murder, OP's current charge, is life imprisonment. They do not have the death penalty that I could see.

Jlh said...

Since Oscar claims that he didn't have his prosthetic legs on at the time of the shooting, I wonder if there will be any ballistic testing on them to see if there is any residue from the gun shots? If he wasn't wearing pajamas or long pants of some sort then I would guess gun shot residue would likely be on his prosthetics.

Anonymous said...

Here we go again...

http://www.news.com.au/world/pistorius-investigating-officer-hilton-botha-faces-shooting-charges/story-fndir2ev-1226582849372

Peter Hyatt said...

Quite a tangent. Another OJ?

Skeptical said...

I hope they release the phone records. Had Reeva retreated to the locked toilet to call someone to come pick her up? Was it her soccer playing friend? Was this what sent Oscar Pistorius over the edge.

The fact that she was hit in the elbow and hip would seem to indicate that she was huddled up and had the phone to her ear thus the bullet went through her elbow and hip.

I am sure Oscar is telling the truth when he said he shouted at her. I wonder if it was more along the lines of "hang up the &^$# phone or I'll kill you" instead of what he stated to the magistrate.

Anonymous said...

I am also guessing that is why the balcony doors were closed, because of the shouting. And if he was going for his gun, did he close the doors to conceal the sound.

Lis said...

The bathroom door was locked. That jumps out at me. She locked herself in there and he shot through the door.

impulsive said...

I would lock the bathroom door if I was using the bathroom even at a significant other's home - just out of habit really. I realize I may be an exception - but I'm pretty sure I'm not the only person who would. I still think it's odd that she was in there with the door locked AND her phone when she was shot, though.

NVmommy73 said...

I totally agree with Lis. In a tense, possibly violent situation it seems obvious she would retreat upset and maybe afraid to the bathroom.
And how is he gonna carry her without his prosthetics on? She looks very tall, 5'8?

OJ again forsure! From the botched crime scene work to Fuhrmans less than distinquished counter part, the alcoholic cop with his own murder case. I hope similarities end there, Peter.

mamasue said...

I am a South African who happens to live about 5Kms from where the shooting took place. Some points of interest to consider. The media are answerable for being very selective in what they choose to report.
- in South Africa any police officer who shoots his weapon is investigated by the Independent Police Investigative Directive (IPID)> They also face charges of murder if a suspect is killed. It is not unusual that the IO had charges pending against him. It appears they stemmed from an incident in 2011 which where later dropped. The NPA (the National Prosecuting Authority) then decided to re-instate the charges on 4 February but had not served summons on the IO, so he was unaware of them. A tip off to a newspaper led to this being made public.
-if this is of interest to you search google for"Durban organised crime unit" and go back through the history. It will show how this is used and abused in South Africa
- the tip off to the newspaper could have come from either side. The defence to discredit him or the prosecution to have him removed from the case as he had a poor showing in the court.
- a legal opinion has been given which has an interesting theory. The prosecution did not really need to oppose bail. By doing so OP was forced to enter his affidavit now to put his reasons and side of the story forward. This is to the Pros advantage as they now have an idea before the trial how his defence will be mounted.

Hobnob said...

Hi Mamasue welcome aboard.

Thanks for your info

Anita said...

Was she locked in the bathroom with her phone threatening to call police or a family memeber for help? It will be interesting to see if she dialed any numbers.

Sus said...

It is interesting that Reeva really did use the restroom. I figured for sure she ran into the bathroom to get away from OP. But the investigator said her bladder was empty, meaning she used the toilet around 3:00 am. If someone were hunting her down and she was frightened, she would not pull down her pants and use the toilet! That piece of info confuses me.

JerseyJane said...

Who said she ran into the bathroom? During or after that fight, she went in there to maybe calm down, pee, blow her nose, wipe her tears, straighten her hair, make normal of herself. Took phone so he don't go thru it so he can start another fight, and they would be up for more hours....

Or I can see her trying to get her thoughts together in that bathroom, pacing, wringing her hands, taking a pee, washing her hands, and gathering up enough nerve to unlock and come out from the bathroom..

Like regrouping..

Hobnob said...

Her bladder was empty, being extremely scared or badly injured/ dead causes the bladder and bowl muscles to relax.

We don't know currently if she used the bathroom normally or if she soiled herself.

If she soiled herself there will be urine on her clothing.

No mention has been made of the toilet being flushed which would indicate her normal use of the bathroom, so, was there urine in the toilet or on the floor which could indicate extreme fear or relaxation of muscles (we only have his word she was still alive when he carried her out remember)

He hasn't said what the noise was he heard when he went to get the fan in and close the windows.

What was her state of dress when the paramedics arrived?

What also stands out is given where he lives and his alleged fear of intruders and death threats and the like, why the sliding door to the balconey open?
Logic dictates lock all doors and close all windows.

The intruder would have had to come in through the easiest entrance the sliding doors, why would they do that and then lock themselves in the bathroom where there was no escape?
Surely they would instead move away from the occupied room and fo to where he though the valuables were.
It is known he had a gun, no intruder is going to come in through an open door into a room with a guy and guns within reach.

Why would a woman going for a night time pee take her phone with her?
Either she is calling someone secretly or she is in fear of her life and is going to call for help.

When looked at logically his story makes no sense, it is out of chronological order, his reactions are unexpected.

Sus said...

The testimony was that she had emptied her bladder normally around 3:00 am. She was dressed in white shorts and black vest-like top when police arrived. OP had carried her downstairs. The gun and 2 phones were laying on the bath mat in the bathroom or toilet, not sure which.

OP states he "battled" to get her out of the toilet once he saw it was her and finally "pulled her out". To me that does not sound like someone saving someone they accidently shot. Those are the words of someone fighting and trying to get someone out of their hiding place.

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