Thursday, May 30

Pistorius Trial Update: Prosecution Discredits Key Defense Witness

Oscar Pistorius’ defense and supposed version of events are becoming increasingly far-fetched. Prosecutor Gerrie Nel pointed out several discrepancies in the defense’s testimony, calling the credibility of expert witness and former policeman Roger Dixon into question. Dixon refuted Pistorius’ claims about the location of a magazine rack. “The question is important in part because Pistorius contends that police contaminated the crime scene by moving certain key items, including the magazine rack,” CNN explains.Even after Dixon contradicted Pistorius, he stuck to his guns. “If Mr. Pistorius’ version is different, that is his version,” Dixon said in court. The interaction is at least the second strike against Dixon — or, at the very least, against his value as a defense witness. “Mr. Nel has also forced Mr. Dixon to acknowledge that he trained as a geologist and does not have expertise in several forensic areas, including ballistics and pathology,” The New York Times reports. Nel questioned Dixon’s calculations of the exact height and placement of gunshot entry points as well, stating that Dixon did not take into consideration that Pistorius was not wearing his prostheses at the time. Dixon admitted that it was an oversight.

“It is important for the litigation team to properly identify a diverse yet accurate supply of witnesses if you plan to use them to aid you in your legal situations, as well as properly conveying your legal theory, and accurately and concisely communicating complex information to the jury,” explains Michael Talve, Managing Director at The Expert Institute.

The double-amputee athlete is accused of premeditated murder. The prosecution believes Pistorius shot his girlfriend, Reeva Steenkamp, several times during a heated argument on Valentine’s Day 2013. Pistorius insists that he mistook Steenkamp for an intruder — and unknowingly shot and killed her through his bathroom door.

If he is found guilty, Pistorius serve 25 years to life in prison. Court proceedings are temporarily adjourned until May 5.

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