Steenkamp's half-brother Adam says all the family wants is the truth
Hearing ends with no decision on bail for Oscar Pistorius, final arguments Thursday
Police said Pistorius had testosterone in his home, but defense says it's a legal herbal medicine
Investigators say they believe the track star is violent and prosecutors call Pistorius a flight risk
Sounds of arguing for an hour before the shooting. Blood stains on a cell phone and cricket bat. Boxes of testosterone and needles.
The shape of prosecutors’ case against Oscar Pistorius began to come into focus Wednesday as they argued the Olympian charged with killing his girlfriend, model Reeva Steenkamp, should be denied bail because he might disappear if released from jail.
But the Olympic sprinter’s defense team battled back, questioning the quality of the police investigation.
The bail hearing ended Wednesday with no decision. Final arguments are scheduled for Thursday morning.
And all Steenkamp’s family wants is the truth, her half-brother Adam told CNN’s Jake Tapper on Wednesday.
Pistorius is charged with premeditated murder in the death of Steenkamp in the early hours of Valentine’s Day. He has said he thought he was shooting at an intruder.
But police investigator Hilton Botha told the court Wednesday that Pistorius, 26, wasn’t acting in self-defense when he shot through the door of a toilet room in the bathroom of his home and killed Steenkamp.
Botha said he believes Pistorius knew Steenkamp was on the other side of the door. He didn’t explain why investigators think that but suggested Pistorius was specifically aiming to hit the toilet where Steenkamp had gone.
But he also said investigators have found no evidence that is inconsistent with Pistorius’ story.
Prosecutors spent much of the hearing Wednesday focused on the bathroom of Pistorius’ Pretoria home, where authorities say the track star shot Steenkamp three times, in the hip, elbow and ear.
Bullet trajectories show that Pistorius had to turn left and fire at an angle to aim at the toilet, Botha testified. Had he fired head-on into the door, he would have missed her, Botha said.
Defense attorney Barry Roux disputed that, saying the evidence does not show there was an effort to aim at the toilet.
Prosecutors are trying to prove Pistorius intentionally fired on Steenkamp, 29, in a premeditated attempt to kill her. Pistorius and his lawyers argue he mistook her for an intruder and killed her accidentally.
Pistorius said in a statement read Tuesday by his lawyer that he believes Steenkamp slipped into the bathroom when he got up to close the balcony door in his bedroom in the early hours of February 14.
Hearing noises and gripped with fear that someone had broken into his home, Pistorius said he grabbed his gun, yelled for the intruder to leave and shot through the toilet-room door before realizing the person inside might have been Steenkamp.
Roux said Wednesday that the defense team believes Steenkamp locked the door when she heard Pistorius yelling for the intruder to leave. He also said Steenkamp’s bladder was empty, suggesting she had gone to the bathroom as Pistorius claimed.
Botha also said police believe a blood-stained cricket bat found in the bathroom was used to break down the locked door to the toilet.
Pistorius said in his statement that he used the bat to break down the door in an effort to get to Steenkamp to help her.
Botha agreed with the defense contention that, other than the bullet wounds, her body showed no sign of an assault or efforts to defend herself.
But prosecutors and Pistorius’ defense battled over allegations that testosterone and needles were found at the home, as well as the quality of the police investigation.
Amid speculation by outsiders to the case that steroids or other drugs could have somehow played a role in the shooting, Botha testified that investigators found two boxes of testosterone and needles at Pistorius’ home.
Under questioning by Roux, however, Botha said he hadn’t read the full name of the substance – which Roux said was an herbal remedy called testoconpasupium coenzyme – when investigators took the materials into evidence. A quick Internet search on the name of the substance yielded no results.
He also said the defense forensics team found a bullet in the toilet that police had missed and noted police had failed to find out who owned ammunition found at the home or photograph it.
Investigators also went into Pistorius’ home without wearing protective foot covers to prevent contamination of the crime scene, Roux said. Botha conceded that was true and said it was because police didn’t have any more of the covers left.
Roux questioned police arguments that a witness heard sounds of an argument before the shooting. The witness, Roux said, lives 600 meters (more than a third of a mile) from Pistorius’ home. Prosecutor Gerrie Nel countered that the witness lives 300 meters away.
Would he run?
Botha told Magistrate Desmond Nair that investigators believe Pistorius is violent and might flee if released from jail.
He described two encounters with Pistorius, one in which Botha said the track star asked someone else to take the blame when a gun went off at a Johannesburg restaurant.
Police said the second incident took place at a racetrack, where Pistorius allegedly threatened to assault someone.
Authorities have also said they have responded to previous domestic incidents at Pistorius’ home, but have not elaborated.
In his statement Tuesday, Pistorius said he and Steenkamp were deeply in love and said he was “mortified” over her death.