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.)

HD DOPPLER 6i
/
  • National NewsMore>>

  • Florida man arrested for DUI after mistaking bank drive-thru for Taco Bell

    Florida man arrested for DUI after mistaking bank drive-thru for Taco Bell

    Saturday, January 20 2018 1:40 AM EST2018-01-20 06:40:23 GMT

    TAMPA, Fla. - A Tampa, Florida man was arrested on Wednesday afternoon for DUI after deputies say he mistook a bank drive-thru for Taco Bell. The Hernando County Sheriff's Office told ABC Action News that the manager of a Bank of America called to report an impaired driver after he found an unconscious man behind the wheel of a blue sedan in the bank's drive-thru lane. The manager told deputies that after knocking on the car window for 

    More >>

    TAMPA, Fla. - A Tampa, Florida man was arrested on Wednesday afternoon for DUI after deputies say he mistook a bank drive-thru for Taco Bell. The Hernando County Sheriff's Office told ABC Action News that the manager of a Bank of America called to report an impaired driver after he found an unconscious man behind the wheel of a blue sedan in the bank's drive-thru lane. The manager told deputies that after knocking on the car window for 

    More >>
  • The Latest: Government shutting down amid partisan standoff

    The Latest: Government shutting down amid partisan standoff

    Saturday, January 20 2018 12:54 AM EST2018-01-20 05:54:47 GMT

    WASHINGTON (AP) - The Latest on the budget battle in Congress (all times local): 12 midnight  The U.S. government shut down at midnight after Congress failed to resolve a partisan standoff over immigration and spending. In a late-night vote, Senate Democrats joined to block a bill that would have kept the government running for another four weeks. A flurry of last-minute negotiations failed to beat the deadline. Democrats have tried to use the F...

    More >>

    WASHINGTON (AP) - The Latest on the budget battle in Congress (all times local): 12 midnight  The U.S. government shut down at midnight after Congress failed to resolve a partisan standoff over immigration and spending. In a late-night vote, Senate Democrats joined to block a bill that would have kept the government running for another four weeks. A flurry of last-minute negotiations failed to beat the deadline. Democrats have tried to use the F...

    More >>
  • WATCH: Milwaukee County bus driver helps cold, lost boy

    WATCH: Milwaukee County bus driver helps cold, lost boy

    Saturday, January 20 2018 12:54 AM EST2018-01-20 05:54:00 GMT
    RideMCTSRideMCTS

    MILWAUKEE - A Milwaukee County bus driver is being hailed a hero after she took a shivering 5-year-old boy inside her warm bus. The entire interaction was captured on security cameras on the bus — and the footage has been seen by thousands after it was featured on Milwaukee TV stations and shared again by ABC News on Thursday. Karen Martinez, a driver for the Milwaukee County Transit System, saw the child standing 

    More >>

    MILWAUKEE - A Milwaukee County bus driver is being hailed a hero after she took a shivering 5-year-old boy inside her warm bus. The entire interaction was captured on security cameras on the bus — and the footage has been seen by thousands after it was featured on Milwaukee TV stations and shared again by ABC News on Thursday. Karen Martinez, a driver for the Milwaukee County Transit System, saw the child standing 

    More >>