On Day 1 of trial, first witness says she heard female screams before gunshots, contrary to defence's claims
Pretoria: South African Paralympian star Oscar Pistorius' claims of pleading not guilty to murder his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp as his trial opened yesterday, suffered a setback as the first witness gave her version of the incident.
Oscar Pistorius on Day 1 of the murder trial in Pretoria yesterday
Pistorius, has admitted to shooting his 29-year-old lover on the night of February 14 but said he did so having mistaken her for an intruder, thereby denying murderous intent.
Yesterday, the first prosecution witness Michelle Burger, said she and her husband were woken up at around 3 am by "bloodcurdling screams" coming from the Pistorius home in an upmarket Johannesburg gated community.
"She screamed terribly and she yelled for help. It was something you can't explain to someone else, how anxious those screams were.
Just after her screams, I heard shots, four shots," said the university economist, describing one clear shot then three clustered together. "Bang... bang, bang, bang.
I heard petrified screaming before the gunshots, and just after the gunshots," she said when pressed by Pistorius' lawyer.
The state is seeking to prove that Pistorius killed Steenkamp in a rage after the couple quarrelled in the early hours of February 14, 2013.