'Blood-curdling screams' before sprinter Pistorius' girlfriend died
PRETORIA, SOUTH AFRICA
A NEIGHBOUR of Oscar Pistorius testified yesterday that she heard terrible screams, then shots, coming from the Olympian's home on the night the double-amputee sprinter's girlfriend, Ms Reeva Steenkamp, was killed.
Prosecution witness Michelle Burger said she woke and heard "blood-curdling screams". On hearing the screams, she said she "sat up in bed, and my husband also woke up" and went to the balcony.
"It was something you can't explain to someone else, how anxious those screams were," said the university economist, testifying in Afrikaans.
"Just after her screams, I heard shots, four shots. Four gunshots," she said, describing one clear shot then three clustered together.
"Bang...bang, bang, bang."
Pistorius yesterday pleaded not guilty to murdering the 29-year-old model, stating via a lawyer: "We were in a loving relationship."
The sprinter claimed that he heard noises coming from the bathroom and, believing Ms Steenkamp was in bed, shot his pistol at the toilet door, believing there was an intruder.
A criminologist attending the trial, but not linked to either the defence or the prosecution, said Ms Burger's evidence could prove key.