Pretoria, South Africa (4E Sports) – It’s now Olympian Oscar Pistorius’ turn to present witnesses and evidence to try to prove that he accidentally shot and killed his girlfriend on Valentine’s Day last year.
Defense attorney Barry Roux is expected to call 14 to 17 witnesses when the trial resumes May 5. The trial is scheduled to continue until the middle of May.
If Pistorius is found guilty of premeditated murder, he faces 25 years to life in prison.
The trial has gripped South Africa and sports fans worldwide who considered Pistorius a symbol of triumph over physical adversity.
Despite amputated lower legs, Pistorius achieved global fame as the “Blade Runner,” winning numerous Paralympic gold medals on the steel blades fitted to his prostheses.
Last week, Pistorius took the stand for the first time since the trial started on March 3 to testify about what happened on the fateful day.
During his cross-examination, the prosecution released details of his relationship with the model and law school graduate, which began in November 2012.
During cross-examination, prosecutor Gerrie Nel accused the athlete of inconsistencies and contradictions in his testimony.
Nel claimed that Pistorius intentionally shot and killed his girlfriend, Reeva Steenkamp, after a heated argument in the early hours of Valentine’s Day last year.
However, Roux maintained that the star sprinter shot his girlfriend through a closed bathroom door after mistaking her for an intruder.
Roux is expected to present forensics expert Roger Dixon, who disputed a conclusion by a pathologist on the cause of Steenkamp’s back wounds.
The pathologist said they were made by a bullet ricochet. Dixon said they were made by a magazine rack. The autopsy said they were made by a blunt, hard object.
Pistorius has maintained he was terrified when he heard noises from the bathroom. When he entered the bathroom and heard a noise behind the closed toilet door, he pulled the trigger without thinking, believing an intruder was inside.
And in an apparent bid to show their romance was not as rocky as portrayed by the prosecution, Pistorius on Tuesday read a card that Steenkamp had planned to give him on Valentine’s Day.
“Roses are red, violets are blue, I think today is a good day to tell you that I love you,” the message read.