Pistorius Trial: Cell Phone Texts Show Tensions - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Pistorius Trial: Cell Phone Texts Show Tensions

Posted: Updated:

PRETORIA, South Africa (AP) - Phone messages between Oscar Pistorius and the girlfriend he shot dead indicate that she was sometimes afraid of him.

The couple had also argued about what she alleged was the athlete's short temper and jealousy, police Capt. Francois Moller testified Monday, citing text messages he extracted from cell phones.

Moller says that about 90 percent of the messages he downloaded were what he called normal and "loving" exchanges. But there were exceptions that he printed out for the court in Pistorius' murder trial.

In another message, Pistorius told Steenkamp that his friends will take the blame for a shooting incident that occurred a month before Steenkamp was killed.

Pistorius shot dead Steenkamp early Feb. 14, 2013. He says he mistook her for an intruder but the state argues he intentionally shot her after an argument.

AP's EARLIER STORY:

A neighbor of Oscar Pistorius testified at his murder trial on Monday that she heard gunshots as well as screams from both a man and a woman on the night that the double-amputee runner fatally shot girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp.

Anette Stipp's testimony matched some of the evidence given by other witnesses earlier in the trial who said they also heard a woman screaming around the time that Pistorius killed Steenkamp before dawn on Feb. 14, 2013.

The defense has countered that the neighbors were actually hearing Pistorius screaming in a high-pitched voice after he shot Steenkamp, a 29-year-old model. Pistorius has said he shot his girlfriend by mistake through a locked toilet door, thinking that she was an intruder in his home.

Chief prosecutor Gerrie Nel opened Monday's court session by noting evidence will include analysis of cellular telephones, including two that were removed from the bathroom where the shooting happened.

Investigators had been chasing information on Pistorius' locked iPhone for months and met Apple officials in the United States just before the trial started on March 3. Pistorius has said he forgot the password to his phone.

Stipp, the neighbor, said under questioning from Nel that she heard gunshots while lying awake around 3 a.m. on the night of the shooting, and then heard the "terrified, terrified" screams of a woman. Her bedroom is situated across a grassy area about 70 meters (230 feet) from Pistorius' home, and the windows of the athlete's bathroom are visible from her window.

"The screaming at that stage just continued," said Stipp, who recalled looking out from a balcony at two houses with lights on in the gated estate where her family and Pistorius lived.

She said she told her husband Johan, who previously testified, that the screaming sounded as though a "family murder" had taken place.

"There was definitely a female screaming for quite a period," Anette Stipp said. "You could definitely hear two different voices."

She said she then heard a second set of shots, and the screaming stopped.

The defense has said that Pistorius fired into the door and then battered the door with a cricket bat to get to Steenkamp after realizing she was inside the toilet cubicle. It insists that some neighbors who testified mistook the sound of the cricket bat striking the door for gunshots.

Pistorius' camp also maintains that Pistorius fired with quick bursts that gave Steenkamp no time to scream, and so Pistorius did not realize he was shooting at Steenkamp. A South African police ballistics expert, however, has testified that the first of three bullets that struck Steenkamp hit her in the right hip, giving her time to scream before she was hit in the arm and head.

Defense lawyer Kenneth Oldwadge pressed neighbor Anette Stipp on her recollections, questioning whether she was inside her house or on a balcony while hearing what she said were shots and screams, and whether she was alert because she had said she was slightly ill at the time. He said she was wrong to say the light was in Pistorius' bathroom around the time of the shooting.

Stipp also testified about an incident this year in which she again heard screams in the estate at night. The testimony appeared to refer to what Pistorius' defense lawyers have referred to as noise tests that they conducted to determine how sound carries and to prove their contention that the runner screams in a high voice when extremely anxious.

The sounds included a male voice screaming in both high and low pitches, Stipp said. The screaming this year, she said, had "very little emotion," in contrast to the screaming she heard on the night of Steenkamp's death.

Nel, the prosecutor, has said he will wrap up his case against Pistorius this week after calling four or five more witnesses to support his contention that the Olympian intentionally killed Steenkamp after an argument. The defense will then present its case.

Judicial officials say the trial will continue until May 16, with a recess in April.

(Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

  • National NewsMore>>

  • Hamas agrees to 24-hour holiday truce in Gaza war

    Hamas agrees to 24-hour holiday truce in Gaza war

    Sunday, July 27 2014 10:36 AM EDT2014-07-27 14:36:04 GMT
    GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip (AP) - Hamas says it has agreed to a 24-hour humanitarian truce in the Gaza war ahead of a major Muslim holiday. Hamas spokesman Sami Abu Zuhri said the truce would go into effect at 2 p.m. Sunday. The three-day Eid al-Fitr holiday, which caps the Muslim fasting month of Ramadan, is expected to begin Monday or Tuesday, depending on the sighting of the new moon.More >>
    GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip (AP) - Hamas says it has agreed to a 24-hour humanitarian truce in the Gaza war ahead of a major Muslim holiday. Hamas spokesman Sami Abu Zuhri said the truce would go into effect at 2 p.m. Sunday. The three-day Eid al-Fitr holiday, which caps the Muslim fasting month of Ramadan, is expected to begin Monday or Tuesday, depending on the sighting of the new moon.More >>
  • Dutch: 1st victim identified from Flight 17

    Dutch: 1st victim identified from Flight 17

    Saturday, July 26 2014 5:55 PM EDT2014-07-26 21:55:02 GMT
    THE HAGUE, Netherlands (AP) - The Dutch government says the first victim has been identified from the Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 disaster.The name and sex of the victim, a Dutch national, weren't released. The government said Saturday the next of kin and mayor of the victim's hometown have been informed.More >>
    THE HAGUE, Netherlands (AP) - The Dutch government says the first victim has been identified from the Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 disaster.The name and sex of the victim, a Dutch national, weren't released. The government said Saturday the next of kin and mayor of the victim's hometown have been informed.More >>
  • 3 rockets hit Israel as Hamas rejects Gaza truce

    3 rockets hit Israel as Hamas rejects Gaza truce

    Saturday, July 26 2014 5:19 PM EDT2014-07-26 21:19:11 GMT
    JERUSALEM (AP) - The Israeli military says three rockets have been fired from Gaza at Israel despite a proposed extension of a humanitarian truce in the Gaza war.Hamas spokesman Sami Abu Zuhri said the group rejected Israel's proposal to extend an original 12-hour lull by four hours, until midnight Saturday.More >>
    JERUSALEM (AP) - The Israeli military says three rockets have been fired from Gaza at Israel despite a proposed extension of a humanitarian truce in the Gaza war.Hamas spokesman Sami Abu Zuhri said the group rejected Israel's proposal to extend an original 12-hour lull by four hours, until midnight Saturday.More >>
Powered by WorldNow
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 WorldNow and KHQ. All Rights Reserved. For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy and Terms of Service.