The murder trial of South African athlete Oscar Pistorius began Monday, with a neighbor saying she heard a woman’s “screams” on the night his girlfriend was shot dead, foreign media outlets reported.
The double-amputee track star pled not guilty for the murder of model and reality TV star Reeva Steenkamp in the trial held at a high court in Pretoria, the capital of South Africa.
Pistorius claims he shot the 29-year-old girlfriend after he had mistaken her for an intruder, making it clear that he had no intention to kill her. He also added that they were “in a loving relationship.”
The fresh testimony, however, suggests that there were “bloodcurdling screams.” Just after the screams, the witness Michelle Burger, said she heard four gun shots.
The witness stated she and her husband woke at around 3 a.m. on Valentine’s Day last year to screams coming from Pistorius’ home, 177 meters away from her own home.
“She screamed terribly and she yelled for help. Then I also heard a man screaming for help. Three times he yelled for help,” she was quoted as saying.
Pistorius refuted the testimony, saying that he believed his girlfriend was in bed when he shot at the bathroom door that night.
A single judge, Thokozile Masipa, will decide his guilt or innocence in the “trial of the century” along with two assessors.
If the Paralympic sprinter is found guilty of premeditated murder, he could face life imprisonment.
By Ock Hyun-ju and news reports (firstname.lastname@example.org)