New Oscar Pistorius Testimony Shows Athlete Lied, But Could Still Mean Good News For the Blade Runner
The media has all but delivered him a guilty verdict since he shot and killed girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp on Valentine's Day 2013, but Oscar Pistorius was possibly delivered his first piece of good news in South African court Wednesday. Taking the stand, forensic investigator Police Lt-Col. Johannes Vermeulen testified that Pistorius was likely without his prosthetic legs when he knocked down the bathroom door that contained the mortally wounded Steenkamp in his home in Pretoria, South Africa.
Why does this detail make a difference? It shows that Pistorius was vulnerable during the incident. Following his arrest in 2013, the Olympic athlete told authorities that he mistook Steenkamp for a home intruder, leading him to shoot at his closed bathroom door four times while calling for his girlfriend to contact the police. With a witness testifying that the double amputee was, in fact, without his prosthetic legs while trying to break down the door, it seems more likely that he was without his legs during the shooting. If that was the case, Pistorius' defense will have a much easier time proving that vulnerability.
But there is a snag in the defense. Though testimony has yet to be examined about the position of the bullet marks — which, if Pistorius is telling the truth, would would be low enough to prove he was without his legs — Vermeulen's testimony surrounded the position of marks made by a cricket bat, which the athlete used to knock down his bathroom door. The main problem: Pistorius claimed to authorities following his arrest that he had put on his prosthetic legs after the shooting, and before using the cricket bat on the door (when he realized that Steenkamp, and not an intruder, very well may be inside). The athlete's lawyers, however, are claiming that Pistorius wasn't lying, and that the Pistorius simply swung while bending his back.
So it's one step forward, and one step back for the athlete, but here's guessing any piece of good news still isn't enough to please the athlete, who has been visibly troubled throughout the trial, especially when graphic details of Steenkamp's murder had been discussed. And things were no different Wednesday, when Vermeulen recreated the scene of the murder, and the trial had photos to match.
So far, throughout Pistorius' trial, the athlete has failed to be painted in a good light, with testimony from ex-girlfriends and other associates calling him jumpy and constantly armed. A friend of Pistorius also testified that the runner shot his gun out of the sunroof of a car after being pulled over by cops. Which is more than enough for media to convict him, even as we await the final verdict.