Prosecutor to Pistorius: Did Reeva scream when you shot her?

Fri Apr 11, 2014 4:10pm EDT
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By Stella Mapenzauswa

PRETORIA (Reuters) - Oscar Pistorius' trial heard crucial testimony on Friday as a prosecutor challenged the double-amputee sprinter over why his girlfriend had failed to scream when he shot her four times through a toilet door.

Gerrie Nel, one of South Africa's top attorneys, said it was beyond belief that Reeva Steenkamp would have remained silent in the cubicle with an armed Pistorius shouting and screaming in the adjoining bathroom.

The prosecution alleges the 29-year-old model took refuge in the toilet during an angry row with the athlete, and he then shot her through the door.

Pistorius, who says he fired at what he thought was an intruder, has testified that Steenkamp did not cry out during the incident in the early hours of February 14, 2013.

However, under withering cross-examination from Nel - known in South Africa as "The Pitbull" - the 27-year-old track star was forced to concede he could not have heard whether she screamed or not because his ears were ringing from the sound of gunfire.

People living nearby have testified to hearing a woman's terrified screams before and during a volley of shots.

"She's awake. She's in the toilet. You're shouting. You're screaming. You're three meters from her. She would have responded. She would not have been quiet, Mr Pistorius," Nel said.

"She didn't respond, my Lady," an apparently distressed Pistorius replied, addressing judge Thokozile Masipa.   Continued...

Defence lawyer Barry Roux listens as Prosecutor Gerrie Nel cross-examines Olympic and Paralympic track star Oscar Pistorius in the North Gauteng High Court in Pretoria, April 11, 2014. REUTERS/Craig Nieuwenhuizen/Pool