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Pistorius trial: key points from day 29

Published on 09/05/2014

A ballistics expert cast doubt on the state's order of the four hollow-point bullets that hit Reeva Steenkamp, and the prosecution worked to show that the expert's reconstruction of the crime scene was implausible, on the 29th day of the Oscar Pistorius murder trial.

– Ballistics expert Wollie Wolmarans said Steenkamp was close to the toilet door and leaning slightly forward when the first of four “rapid” gunshots hit her hip. The next bullets hit her arm and hand, and the final bullet hit her head as she was falling backward.

– Wolmarans said all four hollow-point bullets hit the 29-year-old model and law graduate, directly going against the state’s case that one of the bullets missed and ricocheted off the wall, injuring her back.

– Wolmarans said the model’s back wounds were “consistent with falling off a blunt surface” and were caused when Steenkamp fell on a wooden magazine rack in the toilet.

– Wolmarans said the state did not take into account the fact that the bullets may have deflected after going through the toilet door and that there were many bullet trajectory “possibilities.”

– In cross-examination, state prosecutor Gerrie Nel said Wolmarans’s reconstruction of the crime scene was inaccurate, saying if the model fell as the defence claims she would not have landed with her head on the toilet bowl.

“If your reconstruction is considered, she would never have ended on the right hand side of the toilet with her head on the toilet,” said Nel. “She could not have ended there.”

– Nel worked to show that only one bullet hole matched the bullet mark on the toilet wall, supporting his case that a bullet ricocheted off the wall and wounded Steenkamp.