Voice of America (Washington, DC)

24 March 2014

South Africa: Pistorius Witness Describes 'Terrified' Screaming

Photo: Werner Beukes/SAPA
Paralympic champion Oscar Pistorius in court (file photo).

Week four of the Oscar Pistorius trial began Monday with a neighbor saying she heard screams from both a woman and a man on the morning the athlete shot and killed girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp.

The testimony from Anette Stipp was consistent with other witnesses who said they heard a woman's screams coming from the home of Pistorius around 3 a.m. on February 14, 2013.

Defense lawyers have argued neighbors were actually hearing Pistorius scream in a high-pitched voice.

Pistorius has acknowledged killing Steenkamp, but says he thought he was shooting at an intruder through a bathroom door. Prosecutors say the shooting was deliberate.

Questioned by prosecutor Gerrie Nel, Stipp testified that she heard gunshots followed by what she called "terrified, terrified screaming" from a woman. Stipp also said she heard a man screaming. She said all the screaming stopped after a second set of shots.

The witness said she told her husband Johan, who testified earlier in the trial, that she thought a "family murder" had taken place.

Pistorius has pleaded not guilty to charges of premeditated murder. The South African court hearing the case said Monday that after a two-week recess in April, the trial will continue until May 16.

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InFocus

S. Africa: Messages Between Victim and Pistorius Read in Court

Paralympic champion Oscar Pistorius in court (file photo).

Transcripts of angry exchanges between Oscar Pistorius and Reeva Steenkamp were read out by police cellphone analyst Captain Francois Moller as the paralympic athlete's murder ... Read more »