David Dolan of Reuters is reporting that the first witness at Oscar Pistorius’ murder trial told the court on Monday she heard “bloodcurdling screams” from a woman followed by shots, a dramatic opening to a case that could see one of global sport’s most admired role models jailed for life. Pistorius neighbor Michelle Burger reported that she and her husband heard screams coming from girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp at the Pistorius home, which is 174 yards away from Burger’s home in their complex. Burger testified that Steenkamp’s cries for help were followed by screams from a man calling for help. Burger called the security company that patrols and protects their upscale residential complex. Dolan writes that Burger stated the following:
“I heard the screams again. It was worse. It was more intense,” said Burger, a Pretoria University economics lecturer. “She was very scared,” she added, her voice cracking with emotion.
“Just after her screams, I heard four shots. Four gun-shots,” she said. “Bang … bang, bang, bang.”
“It was very traumatic for me. You could hear that it was bloodcurdling screams.” After the final shot, the screams “started fading”, she added later.
Pistorius has plead not-guilty to the crime, insisting he accidentally killed Steenkamp after mistaking her for an intruder. This trial is being called South Africa’s trial of the century because of the international attention that the case has drawn due to Pistorius’ international fame as an Olympic athlete.
Read more at Reuters.