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PostPosted: Sat Mar 08, 2014 4:13 am 
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Location: Pomeroy's Wine Bar
Summary of Prosecution Ear Witness Testimony

Burger (and her Hubby)
  • Heard a woman screaming and woken up by the sound
  • They heard "help help help" -before the sounds they interpreted as gunshots
  • Heard a number of "gunshots" at 3:17, (coinciding perfectly with the second set of bangs heard by Shipp and his wife). At the time they gave their written statements, neither of them could identify the number of "shots" as 4, contrary to Burger's court testimony
  • They did not hear any other sets of bangs.

While they both claim at trial that the woman's screams were "blood-curdling" and the woman was "in fear for her life" that was not in either of their statements to police.
They did not come forward until after listening to the bail hearing. They did not give a statement to police until 6 weeks after the events. Their testimony is the most suspect because of the timing and the ability to be influenced by each other and by media accounts. There's also a problem with their testimony changing in important aspects compared to Johnson's written notes and statements.

  • She heard a woman's voice that sounded like one side of an argument around 2 a.m. It has not been established that this was coming from Oscar's house.
  • She heard what sounded like gunshots, and then she heard loud crying and yelling from Oscar - she initially thought it was a woman screaming, but her husband identified the voice as Oscar Pistorius

Her testimony appears to be honest and factual. She did not try to interpret what anything meant, she simply reported what she heard.

  • He heard 3 "shots" and got up and went to balcony to see where it was coming from
  • On balcony, he heard a woman "screaming or yelling" 2 or 3 times
  • At 3:17 (verified by phone records) he heard "2 or 3" additional "shots"
  • At 3:27, he called security again
  • After his 3:27 call to security, he THEN heard Oscar yell "help, help, help"
  • At 3:28 he phoned Stander from Oscar's house.

He is the closest of the witnesses and had a direct line to Oscar's house via his open balcony.
Although his testimony included the an additional claim to have heard a man's screams intermingled with a woman's screams between the first and second set of bangs, this is not in either of his statements to police given on 2-15-13 and 3-18-13
Shipp's testimony seems to be the most reliable because he is close by and would have had the best opportunity to hear what happened. He also gave a written statement on 2-15-13, before the bail hearing and before an opportunity to be influenced by media or other witness accounts, etc

Combining and summarising:
  • Shipp was woken up by the actual gunshots some time before 3:17
  • The noises at 3:17 were the sounds of the cricket bat hitting the door (Shipp said they sounded the same, so it's no longer in dispute whether a cricket bat hitting the door can sound like a gunshot);
  • The screaming and yelling between the initial gunshots and the banging at 3:17 was Oscar screaming and crying loudly.
  • This was heard by all 4 witnesses, all of whom believed it to be a woman screaming
  • Oscar yelled help, help, help after he broke the door with the cricket bat

Image Do not go gentle into that good night.
___________ Rage, rage against the dying of the light

PostPosted: Sat Apr 26, 2014 9:24 pm 
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Location: Pomeroy's Wine Bar
The State’s case against Oscar Pistorius
Rebecca Davis
25 Mar 2014 10:20 (South Africa) ... zVUVs5Whui

On Tuesday, the state rested its case against Oscar Pistorius. It’s been a long few weeks, though it could have been a lot longer: we’ve only had 21 witnesses called, of the 107 in total on the state’s list. While we rest up in preparation for the opening of the defence’s case on Friday, REBECCA DAVIS presents a non-exhaustive summary of the witness testimony we’ve heard in the case so far.

Name and position (Details at link)

Witness 1: Michelle Burger
Position: Pistorius neighbour, 177 metres away.

Witness 2: Estelle van der Merwe
Position: Pistorius neighbour, 98 metres away

Witness 3:Charl Johnson
Position: Husband of Michelle Burger, Pistorius neighbour, 177 metres away.

Witness 4: Kevin Lerena
Position: Pro-boxer, friend of Pistorius.

Witness 5: Jason Loupis
Position: Franchisee of Tasha’s Melrose Arch

Witness 6: Maria Loupis
Position: Franchisee of Tasha’s, wife of Jason.

Witness 7: Johan Stipp
Position: Radiologist, Pistorius neighbour, lived 72 metres away

Witness 8: Sam Taylor
Position: Pistorius’ ex-girlfriend

Witness 9: Pieter Baba
Position: Pistorius’ ex-girlfriend

Witness 10: Gert Saayman
Position: State pathologist.

Witness 11: Darren Fresco
Position: Pistorius’ ex-friend.

Witness 12: Johannes Vermeulen
Position: State forensic analyst.

Witness 13:Schoombie van Rensburg
Position: Former commander of Boschkop police station.

Witness 14: Sean Rens
Position: Firearms trainer

Witness 15:Bennie van Staden
Position: Police crime scene photographer.

Witness 16: Christian Mangena
Position: Police ballistics expert.

Witness 17: Ian van der Nest
Position: Police blood spatter expert.

Witness 18 Mike Sales
Position: Police computer expert.

Witness 19: Annette Stipp
Position: Pistorius neighbor, lived 72 metres away, wife of Johan Stipp

Witness 20: Francois Moller
Position: Police phone expert

Witness 21: Adriaan Maritz
Position: Warrant officer in Boschkop crime information office

Final witness:Johannes Vermeulen (return)
Position: State forensics expert

Image Do not go gentle into that good night.
___________ Rage, rage against the dying of the light

PostPosted: Sat Apr 26, 2014 9:29 pm 
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Joined: Sun Apr 13, 2014 12:41 am
Posts: 47

Direct Exam:

Day 1, Part 1; 44:33 -53:00
  • "Just after 3:00, I woke up from a woman's terrible screams"
  • "She screamed terribly and she yelled for help"
  • Burger dialed security, husband talked to security, repeated the story twice and then informed Burger that it was the wrong security number. Husband went back to balcony
  • "I heard the screams again"
  • "Just after her screams, I heard 4 shots - it was 4 gunshots that I heard... bang (pause) bang, bang, bang"
  • "After the shots we did not hear screams any more"
  • During direct exam, Burger makes no mention of hearing a man screaming or yelling "help, help, help"
  • No mention of man and woman voices intermingled
  • No mention of screaming during shots

Cross Exam:
Day 1, Part 2; 5:50 - End
  • "I did not hear the cricket bat bangs on the door, however, I did hear the gunshots"
  • "It's not possible" that there were gunshots that I didn't hear when I was asleep ... "There's no way"
  • "Clearly heard 4 gunshots after I made the telephone call"
  • @9:15 - "[My husband] also heard 4 gunshots" -- quickly changed her testimony that he may have heard "a couple" - "4, 5 or 6"
  • @ 26:00 "When the shots started, I again heard the woman scream".
  • "During the shots, I heard the woman screaming"
  • @30:50 "I confirm that just after the last shot, I heard her scream - her voice"
  • @32:50 - "I was woken up by a woman's petrified screams. I heard her screaming first. Then I heard her call for help. Then I heard a man call for help three times. I then made a call - I gave the phone to my husband and he spoke to security. Afterwards, I heard the woman's petrified screams again. Shortly after that (tape misfeeds)....I heard her screaming some time during the shots ...and shortly after the shots was the last time I heard that woman shout"

Day 1, Part 3 (cross examination continued); 6:15 - END
  • Reading from Burger's written statement
  • "I heard the woman scream" - none of the emotional descriptions
  • "The woman gave the last scream approximately 2 seconds after the last shot" - no mention of screams during shots
  • @24:00 Interestingly puts other witness statements to Burger and mentions he doesn’t know if they’re true - they could be lying or Captain Van Ardt could have manipulated their statements
  • "I can only state that I heard the shooting and not the cricket bat, I heard 4 shots"
  • "I'm certain what I heard was a woman, so I'm convinced it wasn't Mr Pistorius"
  • There's a long back and forth with Burger adamantly refusing to concede that cricket bat can sound like gunshots, persists that she is 100% certain the noise she heard was gunshots and not cricket bats - although she acknowledges that she doesn't know what a cricket bat hitting the door sounds like
  • Burger explains that she started in music early and hears rhythm automatically and that's how she knows it was 4 shots

  • Written statement contains no emotional description of screams
  • Written statement does not mention screams during the shots

Listening to Burger again, it really jumps out how belligerent she is and unyielding when it comes to making obvious concessions - like refusal to even acknowledge that there may have been gunshot sounds she didn't hear because she was sleeping

PostPosted: Mon Jul 14, 2014 2:38 am 
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Joined: Tue Mar 27, 2012 5:30 pm
Posts: 51562
Location: Pomeroy's Wine Bar
Defending Oscar: Team Pistorius' case

Rebecca Davis (South Africa)
09 Jul 2014 01:43 ... 8N36EDb5uj

On Tuesday, Oscar Pistorius’ defence team rested their case. It’s taken them over three months to complete, thanks to various delays – most notably the 30-day mental evaluation of Pistorius in a psychiatric hospital. The defence called fewer witnesses than the state: 16, to the state’s 21. While the state and the defence prepare their closing arguments to be heard before the court in a month’s time, REBECCA DAVIS summarises the defence’s witness testimony.

Witness 1: Jan Botha
Position: Forensic pathologist

Witness 2:Oscar Pistorius
Position: The accused

Witness 3:Roger Dixon
Position: Forensic scientist (trace evidence expert)

Witness 4: Johan Stander
Position: Manager of Pistorius’ Pretoria estate

Witness 5:Carice Stander
Position: Johan Stander’s daughter, a legal assessor who lived on estate at time of shooting

Witness 6: Michael Nhlengethwa
Position: Pistorius’ immediate neighbours

Witness 7: Eontle Nhlengethwa
Position: Pistorius’s immediate neighbour; Michael’s wife

Witness 8: Ricca Motshwane
Position: Pistorius’s neighbour across the road

Witness 9: Christina Lundgren
Position: University of the Witwatersrand anaesthetist

Witness 10: Yvette van Schalkwyk
Position: Social worker who assessed Pistorius after he was arrested post-shooting.

Witness 11: Wollie Wolmarans
Position: Independent forensic ballistics expert

Witness 12: Merryl Vorster
Position: Forensic psychiatrist contracted to evaluate Pistorius

Witness 13: Gerald Versfeld
Position: Orthopaedic surgeon who amputated Pistorius’ legs as a baby and continues to treat him

Witness 14: Ivan Lin

Position: Acoustics expert

Witness 15: Peet van Zyl
Position: Pistorius’ agent/manager

Witness 16: Wayne Derman
Position: Sports Medicine Professor; Paralympic team doctor

Image Do not go gentle into that good night.
___________ Rage, rage against the dying of the light

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