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Pistorius vomits during graphic testimony

KDWN

PRETORIA, South Africa (AP) — Hunched over, vomiting into a bucket by his feet and retching loudly, Oscar Pistorius was vividly reminded at his murder trial Monday of the gruesome injuries he inflicted on his girlfriend when a pathologist described how the Olympian fatally shot her multiple times with bullets designed to cause maximum damage.

The testimony by Prof. Gert Saayman, who performed the autopsy on Reeva Steenkamp’s body, was so graphic that it was not broadcast or reported live on social media by journalists under an order from Judge Thokozile Masipa.

Saayman methodically listed the extent of the three main gunshot wounds Steenkamp suffered on Valentine’s Day last year when she was shot by the double-amputee runner in the right side of the head, the right hip and the right arm through a toilet cubicle door.

The pathologist said Steenkamp, 29, was hit by special Black Talon bullets and that the head shot from Pistorius’ 9 mm pistol was probably almost instantly fatal, causing brain damage and multiple fractures to her skull.

Bent over while sitting on a wooden bench, Pistorius vomited when Saayman reached his right hand up toward the right side of his own head to show the entrance and exit wounds in Steenkamp’s skull.

Masipa briefly halted the testimony to ask chief defense lawyer Barry Roux to attend to his client. The judge later asked whether Pistorius was able to understand the proceedings as he sat with hands clasped over his ears, his body heaving.

“Is your client fine?” the judge asked Roux.

Roux replied: “It’s not going to be fine.”

Roux said Pistorius’ reaction was not going to change. A dark bucket with a handle was placed at his feet.

Pistorius vomited at least two other times and cried. He is charged with premeditated murder for killing Steenkamp and could face up to life in prison if convicted. The prosecution contends the shooting followed a loud argument between the couple. The defense maintains that he shot her by mistake, thinking she was an intruder.

Through the sounds of Pistorius retching in the dock, the pathologist testified that he was able to identify the ammunition from a bullet fragment lodged at the bottom of Steenkamp’s skull. The bullets were designed to expand on impact and cause severe damage.

The hip and arm wounds were also severe, and the right arm was broken, the pathologist said, adding that any of the three gunshot wounds in isolation could have been fatal.

Saayman stood through his testimony to indicate the location of Steenkamp’s bullet wounds by touching his hand to his own head, arm and hip. He noted that Steenkamp also had a wound on her left hand, possibly from a bullet, and described abrasions and smaller injuries caused by splinters, which he said were consistent with bullets fired through a wooden object.

Away from the courthouse, JC de Klerk, a forensic ballistic specialist who used to work for the South African police, agreed with Saayman that the headshot likely killed Steenkamp immediately.

“If the doctor found a Black Talon bullet inside her head … she would have died, I would say, not in seconds but in milliseconds,” de Klerk told The Associated Press in a telephone interview.

De Klerk said the bullets were rare in South Africa and designed to cause “excessive wounds.”

The detailed evidence regarding the injuries is important because, for one, Pistorius has claimed that Steenkamp was slumped over but alive when he eventually reached her after shooting her in error thinking she was a dangerous intruder.

That appears unlikely given Saayman’s testimony, but the pathologist did note that sometimes it takes a little time for a person’s heart to stop after a devastating head injury.

But his testimony also could harm the prosecution’s claims that Steenkamp screamed during the shooting, unless prosecutors can show that the head shot was the last one to hit her.

Saayman also said that judging by the food contents in her stomach, Steenkamp probably last ate no more than two hours before her death. Steenkamp was shot after 3 a.m., meaning she must have eaten after 1 a.m. That hinted at another possible wrinkle in Pistorius’ account because he claims the couple was in the bedroom by 10 p.m.

Pistorius’ defense team has indicated it will submit its own autopsy report to support his claim that the killing was a tragic accident.

If convicted on the murder charge, Pistorius, 27, could be sent to prison for at least 25 years before the chance of parole, the minimum time someone must serve if given a life sentence in South Africa. The judge will ultimately deliver the verdict and decide on any sentence. South Africa has no trial by jury.

Gerald Imray is on Twitter at www.twitter.com/GeraldImrayAP

Pistorius vomits during graphic testimony

KDWN

PRETORIA, South Africa (AP) — Hunched over, vomiting into a bucket by his feet and retching loudly, Oscar Pistorius was vividly reminded at his murder trial Monday of the gruesome injuries he inflicted on his girlfriend when a pathologist described how the Olympian fatally shot her multiple times with bullets designed to cause maximum damage.

The testimony by Prof. Gert Saayman, who performed the autopsy on Reeva Steenkamp’s body, was so graphic that it was not broadcast or reported live on social media by journalists under an order from Judge Thokozile Masipa.

Saayman methodically listed the extent of the three main gunshot wounds Steenkamp suffered on Valentine’s Day last year when she was shot by the double-amputee runner in the right side of the head, the right hip and the right arm through a toilet cubicle door.

The pathologist said Steenkamp, 29, was hit by special Black Talon bullets and that the head shot from Pistorius’ 9 mm pistol was probably almost instantly fatal, causing brain damage and multiple fractures to her skull.

Bent over while sitting on a wooden bench, Pistorius vomited when Saayman reached his right hand up toward the right side of his own head to show the entrance and exit wounds in Steenkamp’s skull.

Masipa briefly halted the testimony to ask chief defense lawyer Barry Roux to attend to his client. The judge later asked whether Pistorius was able to understand the proceedings as he sat with hands clasped over his ears, his body heaving.

“Is your client fine?” the judge asked Roux.

Roux replied: “It’s not going to be fine.”

Roux said Pistorius’ reaction was not going to change. A dark bucket with a handle was placed at his feet.

Pistorius vomited at least two other times and cried. He is charged with premeditated murder for killing Steenkamp and could face up to life in prison if convicted. The prosecution contends the shooting followed a loud argument between the couple. The defense maintains that he shot her by mistake, thinking she was an intruder.

Through the sounds of Pistorius retching in the dock, the pathologist testified that he was able to identify the ammunition from a bullet fragment lodged at the bottom of Steenkamp’s skull. The bullets were designed to expand on impact and cause severe damage.

The hip and arm wounds were also severe, and the right arm was broken, the pathologist said, adding that any of the three gunshot wounds in isolation could have been fatal.

Saayman stood through his testimony to indicate the location of Steenkamp’s bullet wounds by touching his hand to his own head, arm and hip. He noted that Steenkamp also had a wound on her left hand, possibly from a bullet, and described abrasions and smaller injuries caused by splinters, which he said were consistent with bullets fired through a wooden object.

Away from the courthouse, JC de Klerk, a forensic ballistic specialist who used to work for the South African police, agreed with Saayman that the headshot likely killed Steenkamp immediately.

“If the doctor found a Black Talon bullet inside her head … she would have died, I would say, not in seconds but in milliseconds,” de Klerk told The Associated Press in a telephone interview.

De Klerk said the bullets were rare in South Africa and designed to cause “excessive wounds.”

The detailed evidence regarding the injuries is important because, for one, Pistorius has claimed that Steenkamp was slumped over but alive when he eventually reached her after shooting her in error thinking she was a dangerous intruder.

That appears unlikely given Saayman’s testimony, but the pathologist did note that sometimes it takes a little time for a person’s heart to stop after a devastating head injury.

But his testimony also could harm the prosecution’s claims that Steenkamp screamed during the shooting, unless prosecutors can show that the head shot was the last one to hit her.

Saayman also said that judging by the food contents in her stomach, Steenkamp probably last ate no more than two hours before her death. Steenkamp was shot after 3 a.m., meaning she must have eaten after 1 a.m. That hinted at another possible wrinkle in Pistorius’ account because he claims the couple was in the bedroom by 10 p.m.

Pistorius’ defense team has indicated it will submit its own autopsy report to support his claim that the killing was a tragic accident.

If convicted on the murder charge, Pistorius, 27, could be sent to prison for at least 25 years before the chance of parole, the minimum time someone must serve if given a life sentence in South Africa. The judge will ultimately deliver the verdict and decide on any sentence. South Africa has no trial by jury.

Gerald Imray is on Twitter at www.twitter.com/GeraldImrayAP

Pistorius vomits during graphic testimony

KDWN

PRETORIA, South Africa (AP) — Hunched over, vomiting into a bucket by his feet and retching loudly, Oscar Pistorius was vividly reminded at his murder trial Monday of the gruesome injuries he inflicted on his girlfriend when a pathologist described how the Olympian fatally shot her multiple times with bullets designed to cause maximum damage.

The testimony by Prof. Gert Saayman, who performed the autopsy on Reeva Steenkamp’s body, was so graphic that it was not broadcast or reported live on social media by journalists under an order from Judge Thokozile Masipa.

Saayman methodically listed the extent of the three main gunshot wounds Steenkamp suffered on Valentine’s Day last year when she was shot by the double-amputee runner in the right side of the head, the right hip and the right arm through a toilet cubicle door.

The pathologist said Steenkamp, 29, was hit by special Black Talon bullets and that the head shot from Pistorius’ 9 mm pistol was probably almost instantly fatal, causing brain damage and multiple fractures to her skull.

Bent over while sitting on a wooden bench, Pistorius vomited when Saayman reached his right hand up toward the right side of his own head to show the entrance and exit wounds in Steenkamp’s skull.

Masipa briefly halted the testimony to ask chief defense lawyer Barry Roux to attend to his client. The judge later asked whether Pistorius was able to understand the proceedings as he sat with hands clasped over his ears, his body heaving.

“Is your client fine?” the judge asked Roux.

Roux replied: “It’s not going to be fine.”

Roux said Pistorius’ reaction was not going to change. A dark bucket with a handle was placed at his feet.

Pistorius vomited at least two other times and cried. He is charged with premeditated murder for killing Steenkamp and could face up to life in prison if convicted. The prosecution contends the shooting followed a loud argument between the couple. The defense maintains that he shot her by mistake, thinking she was an intruder.

Through the sounds of Pistorius retching in the dock, the pathologist testified that he was able to identify the ammunition from a bullet fragment lodged at the bottom of Steenkamp’s skull. The bullets were designed to expand on impact and cause severe damage.

The hip and arm wounds were also severe, and the right arm was broken, the pathologist said, adding that any of the three gunshot wounds in isolation could have been fatal.

Saayman stood through his testimony to indicate the location of Steenkamp’s bullet wounds by touching his hand to his own head, arm and hip. He noted that Steenkamp also had a wound on her left hand, possibly from a bullet, and described abrasions and smaller injuries caused by splinters, which he said were consistent with bullets fired through a wooden object.

Away from the courthouse, JC de Klerk, a forensic ballistic specialist who used to work for the South African police, agreed with Saayman that the headshot likely killed Steenkamp immediately.

“If the doctor found a Black Talon bullet inside her head … she would have died, I would say, not in seconds but in milliseconds,” de Klerk told The Associated Press in a telephone interview.

De Klerk said the bullets were rare in South Africa and designed to cause “excessive wounds.”

The detailed evidence regarding the injuries is important because, for one, Pistorius has claimed that Steenkamp was slumped over but alive when he eventually reached her after shooting her in error thinking she was a dangerous intruder.

That appears unlikely given Saayman’s testimony, but the pathologist did note that sometimes it takes a little time for a person’s heart to stop after a devastating head injury.

But his testimony also could harm the prosecution’s claims that Steenkamp screamed during the shooting, unless prosecutors can show that the head shot was the last one to hit her.

Saayman also said that judging by the food contents in her stomach, Steenkamp probably last ate no more than two hours before her death. Steenkamp was shot after 3 a.m., meaning she must have eaten after 1 a.m. That hinted at another possible wrinkle in Pistorius’ account because he claims the couple was in the bedroom by 10 p.m.

Pistorius’ defense team has indicated it will submit its own autopsy report to support his claim that the killing was a tragic accident.

If convicted on the murder charge, Pistorius, 27, could be sent to prison for at least 25 years before the chance of parole, the minimum time someone must serve if given a life sentence in South Africa. The judge will ultimately deliver the verdict and decide on any sentence. South Africa has no trial by jury.

Gerald Imray is on Twitter at www.twitter.com/GeraldImrayAP

Pistorius vomits during graphic testimony

KDWN

PRETORIA, South Africa (AP) — Hunched over, vomiting into a bucket by his feet and retching loudly, Oscar Pistorius was vividly reminded at his murder trial Monday of the gruesome injuries he inflicted on his girlfriend when a pathologist described how the Olympian fatally shot her multiple times with bullets designed to cause maximum damage.

The testimony by Prof. Gert Saayman, who performed the autopsy on Reeva Steenkamp’s body, was so graphic that it was not broadcast or reported live on social media by journalists under an order from Judge Thokozile Masipa.

Saayman methodically listed the extent of the three main gunshot wounds Steenkamp suffered on Valentine’s Day last year when she was shot by the double-amputee runner in the right side of the head, the right hip and the right arm through a toilet cubicle door.

The pathologist said Steenkamp, 29, was hit by special Black Talon bullets and that the head shot from Pistorius’ 9 mm pistol was probably almost instantly fatal, causing brain damage and multiple fractures to her skull.

Bent over while sitting on a wooden bench, Pistorius vomited when Saayman reached his right hand up toward the right side of his own head to show the entrance and exit wounds in Steenkamp’s skull.

Masipa briefly halted the testimony to ask chief defense lawyer Barry Roux to attend to his client. The judge later asked whether Pistorius was able to understand the proceedings as he sat with hands clasped over his ears, his body heaving.

“Is your client fine?” the judge asked Roux.

Roux replied: “It’s not going to be fine.”

Roux said Pistorius’ reaction was not going to change. A dark bucket with a handle was placed at his feet.

Pistorius vomited at least two other times and cried. He is charged with premeditated murder for killing Steenkamp and could face up to life in prison if convicted. The prosecution contends the shooting followed a loud argument between the couple. The defense maintains that he shot her by mistake, thinking she was an intruder.

Through the sounds of Pistorius retching in the dock, the pathologist testified that he was able to identify the ammunition from a bullet fragment lodged at the bottom of Steenkamp’s skull. The bullets were designed to expand on impact and cause severe damage.

The hip and arm wounds were also severe, and the right arm was broken, the pathologist said, adding that any of the three gunshot wounds in isolation could have been fatal.

Saayman stood through his testimony to indicate the location of Steenkamp’s bullet wounds by touching his hand to his own head, arm and hip. He noted that Steenkamp also had a wound on her left hand, possibly from a bullet, and described abrasions and smaller injuries caused by splinters, which he said were consistent with bullets fired through a wooden object.

Away from the courthouse, JC de Klerk, a forensic ballistic specialist who used to work for the South African police, agreed with Saayman that the headshot likely killed Steenkamp immediately.

“If the doctor found a Black Talon bullet inside her head … she would have died, I would say, not in seconds but in milliseconds,” de Klerk told The Associated Press in a telephone interview.

De Klerk said the bullets were rare in South Africa and designed to cause “excessive wounds.”

The detailed evidence regarding the injuries is important because, for one, Pistorius has claimed that Steenkamp was slumped over but alive when he eventually reached her after shooting her in error thinking she was a dangerous intruder.

That appears unlikely given Saayman’s testimony, but the pathologist did note that sometimes it takes a little time for a person’s heart to stop after a devastating head injury.

But his testimony also could harm the prosecution’s claims that Steenkamp screamed during the shooting, unless prosecutors can show that the head shot was the last one to hit her.

Saayman also said that judging by the food contents in her stomach, Steenkamp probably last ate no more than two hours before her death. Steenkamp was shot after 3 a.m., meaning she must have eaten after 1 a.m. That hinted at another possible wrinkle in Pistorius’ account because he claims the couple was in the bedroom by 10 p.m.

Pistorius’ defense team has indicated it will submit its own autopsy report to support his claim that the killing was a tragic accident.

If convicted on the murder charge, Pistorius, 27, could be sent to prison for at least 25 years before the chance of parole, the minimum time someone must serve if given a life sentence in South Africa. The judge will ultimately deliver the verdict and decide on any sentence. South Africa has no trial by jury.

Gerald Imray is on Twitter at www.twitter.com/GeraldImrayAP

Pistorius vomits during graphic testimony

KDWN

PRETORIA, South Africa (AP) — Hunched over, vomiting into a bucket by his feet and retching loudly, Oscar Pistorius was vividly reminded at his murder trial Monday of the gruesome injuries he inflicted on his girlfriend when a pathologist described how the Olympian fatally shot her multiple times with bullets designed to cause maximum damage.

The testimony by Prof. Gert Saayman, who performed the autopsy on Reeva Steenkamp’s body, was so graphic that it was not broadcast or reported live on social media by journalists under an order from Judge Thokozile Masipa.

Saayman methodically listed the extent of the three main gunshot wounds Steenkamp suffered on Valentine’s Day last year when she was shot by the double-amputee runner in the right side of the head, the right hip and the right arm through a toilet cubicle door.

The pathologist said Steenkamp, 29, was hit by special Black Talon bullets and that the head shot from Pistorius’ 9 mm pistol was probably almost instantly fatal, causing brain damage and multiple fractures to her skull.

Bent over while sitting on a wooden bench, Pistorius vomited when Saayman reached his right hand up toward the right side of his own head to show the entrance and exit wounds in Steenkamp’s skull.

Masipa briefly halted the testimony to ask chief defense lawyer Barry Roux to attend to his client. The judge later asked whether Pistorius was able to understand the proceedings as he sat with hands clasped over his ears, his body heaving.

“Is your client fine?” the judge asked Roux.

Roux replied: “It’s not going to be fine.”

Roux said Pistorius’ reaction was not going to change. A dark bucket with a handle was placed at his feet.

Pistorius vomited at least two other times and cried. He is charged with premeditated murder for killing Steenkamp and could face up to life in prison if convicted. The prosecution contends the shooting followed a loud argument between the couple. The defense maintains that he shot her by mistake, thinking she was an intruder.

Through the sounds of Pistorius retching in the dock, the pathologist testified that he was able to identify the ammunition from a bullet fragment lodged at the bottom of Steenkamp’s skull. The bullets were designed to expand on impact and cause severe damage.

The hip and arm wounds were also severe, and the right arm was broken, the pathologist said, adding that any of the three gunshot wounds in isolation could have been fatal.

Saayman stood through his testimony to indicate the location of Steenkamp’s bullet wounds by touching his hand to his own head, arm and hip. He noted that Steenkamp also had a wound on her left hand, possibly from a bullet, and described abrasions and smaller injuries caused by splinters, which he said were consistent with bullets fired through a wooden object.

Away from the courthouse, JC de Klerk, a forensic ballistic specialist who used to work for the South African police, agreed with Saayman that the headshot likely killed Steenkamp immediately.

“If the doctor found a Black Talon bullet inside her head … she would have died, I would say, not in seconds but in milliseconds,” de Klerk told The Associated Press in a telephone interview.

De Klerk said the bullets were rare in South Africa and designed to cause “excessive wounds.”

The detailed evidence regarding the injuries is important because, for one, Pistorius has claimed that Steenkamp was slumped over but alive when he eventually reached her after shooting her in error thinking she was a dangerous intruder.

That appears unlikely given Saayman’s testimony, but the pathologist did note that sometimes it takes a little time for a person’s heart to stop after a devastating head injury.

But his testimony also could harm the prosecution’s claims that Steenkamp screamed during the shooting, unless prosecutors can show that the head shot was the last one to hit her.

Saayman also said that judging by the food contents in her stomach, Steenkamp probably last ate no more than two hours before her death. Steenkamp was shot after 3 a.m., meaning she must have eaten after 1 a.m. That hinted at another possible wrinkle in Pistorius’ account because he claims the couple was in the bedroom by 10 p.m.

Pistorius’ defense team has indicated it will submit its own autopsy report to support his claim that the killing was a tragic accident.

If convicted on the murder charge, Pistorius, 27, could be sent to prison for at least 25 years before the chance of parole, the minimum time someone must serve if given a life sentence in South Africa. The judge will ultimately deliver the verdict and decide on any sentence. South Africa has no trial by jury.

Gerald Imray is on Twitter at www.twitter.com/GeraldImrayAP

Pistorius vomits during graphic testimony

KDWN

PRETORIA, South Africa (AP) — Hunched over, vomiting into a bucket by his feet and retching loudly, Oscar Pistorius was vividly reminded at his murder trial Monday of the gruesome injuries he inflicted on his girlfriend when a pathologist described how the Olympian fatally shot her multiple times with bullets designed to cause maximum damage.

The testimony by Prof. Gert Saayman, who performed the autopsy on Reeva Steenkamp’s body, was so graphic that it was not broadcast or reported live on social media by journalists under an order from Judge Thokozile Masipa.

Saayman methodically listed the extent of the three main gunshot wounds Steenkamp suffered on Valentine’s Day last year when she was shot by the double-amputee runner in the right side of the head, the right hip and the right arm through a toilet cubicle door.

The pathologist said Steenkamp, 29, was hit by special Black Talon bullets and that the head shot from Pistorius’ 9 mm pistol was probably almost instantly fatal, causing brain damage and multiple fractures to her skull.

Bent over while sitting on a wooden bench, Pistorius vomited when Saayman reached his right hand up toward the right side of his own head to show the entrance and exit wounds in Steenkamp’s skull.

Masipa briefly halted the testimony to ask chief defense lawyer Barry Roux to attend to his client. The judge later asked whether Pistorius was able to understand the proceedings as he sat with hands clasped over his ears, his body heaving.

“Is your client fine?” the judge asked Roux.

Roux replied: “It’s not going to be fine.”

Roux said Pistorius’ reaction was not going to change. A dark bucket with a handle was placed at his feet.

Pistorius vomited at least two other times and cried. He is charged with premeditated murder for killing Steenkamp and could face up to life in prison if convicted. The prosecution contends the shooting followed a loud argument between the couple. The defense maintains that he shot her by mistake, thinking she was an intruder.

Through the sounds of Pistorius retching in the dock, the pathologist testified that he was able to identify the ammunition from a bullet fragment lodged at the bottom of Steenkamp’s skull. The bullets were designed to expand on impact and cause severe damage.

The hip and arm wounds were also severe, and the right arm was broken, the pathologist said, adding that any of the three gunshot wounds in isolation could have been fatal.

Saayman stood through his testimony to indicate the location of Steenkamp’s bullet wounds by touching his hand to his own head, arm and hip. He noted that Steenkamp also had a wound on her left hand, possibly from a bullet, and described abrasions and smaller injuries caused by splinters, which he said were consistent with bullets fired through a wooden object.

Away from the courthouse, JC de Klerk, a forensic ballistic specialist who used to work for the South African police, agreed with Saayman that the headshot likely killed Steenkamp immediately.

“If the doctor found a Black Talon bullet inside her head … she would have died, I would say, not in seconds but in milliseconds,” de Klerk told The Associated Press in a telephone interview.

De Klerk said the bullets were rare in South Africa and designed to cause “excessive wounds.”

The detailed evidence regarding the injuries is important because, for one, Pistorius has claimed that Steenkamp was slumped over but alive when he eventually reached her after shooting her in error thinking she was a dangerous intruder.

That appears unlikely given Saayman’s testimony, but the pathologist did note that sometimes it takes a little time for a person’s heart to stop after a devastating head injury.

But his testimony also could harm the prosecution’s claims that Steenkamp screamed during the shooting, unless prosecutors can show that the head shot was the last one to hit her.

Saayman also said that judging by the food contents in her stomach, Steenkamp probably last ate no more than two hours before her death. Steenkamp was shot after 3 a.m., meaning she must have eaten after 1 a.m. That hinted at another possible wrinkle in Pistorius’ account because he claims the couple was in the bedroom by 10 p.m.

Pistorius’ defense team has indicated it will submit its own autopsy report to support his claim that the killing was a tragic accident.

If convicted on the murder charge, Pistorius, 27, could be sent to prison for at least 25 years before the chance of parole, the minimum time someone must serve if given a life sentence in South Africa. The judge will ultimately deliver the verdict and decide on any sentence. South Africa has no trial by jury.

Gerald Imray is on Twitter at www.twitter.com/GeraldImrayAP

Pistorius vomits during graphic testimony

KDWN

PRETORIA, South Africa (AP) — Hunched over, vomiting into a bucket by his feet and retching loudly, Oscar Pistorius was vividly reminded at his murder trial Monday of the gruesome injuries he inflicted on his girlfriend when a pathologist described how the Olympian fatally shot her multiple times with bullets designed to cause maximum damage.

The testimony by Prof. Gert Saayman, who performed the autopsy on Reeva Steenkamp’s body, was so graphic that it was not broadcast or reported live on social media by journalists under an order from Judge Thokozile Masipa.

Saayman methodically listed the extent of the three main gunshot wounds Steenkamp suffered on Valentine’s Day last year when she was shot by the double-amputee runner in the right side of the head, the right hip and the right arm through a toilet cubicle door.

The pathologist said Steenkamp, 29, was hit by special Black Talon bullets and that the head shot from Pistorius’ 9 mm pistol was probably almost instantly fatal, causing brain damage and multiple fractures to her skull.

Bent over while sitting on a wooden bench, Pistorius vomited when Saayman reached his right hand up toward the right side of his own head to show the entrance and exit wounds in Steenkamp’s skull.

Masipa briefly halted the testimony to ask chief defense lawyer Barry Roux to attend to his client. The judge later asked whether Pistorius was able to understand the proceedings as he sat with hands clasped over his ears, his body heaving.

“Is your client fine?” the judge asked Roux.

Roux replied: “It’s not going to be fine.”

Roux said Pistorius’ reaction was not going to change. A dark bucket with a handle was placed at his feet.

Pistorius vomited at least two other times and cried. He is charged with premeditated murder for killing Steenkamp and could face up to life in prison if convicted. The prosecution contends the shooting followed a loud argument between the couple. The defense maintains that he shot her by mistake, thinking she was an intruder.

Through the sounds of Pistorius retching in the dock, the pathologist testified that he was able to identify the ammunition from a bullet fragment lodged at the bottom of Steenkamp’s skull. The bullets were designed to expand on impact and cause severe damage.

The hip and arm wounds were also severe, and the right arm was broken, the pathologist said, adding that any of the three gunshot wounds in isolation could have been fatal.

Saayman stood through his testimony to indicate the location of Steenkamp’s bullet wounds by touching his hand to his own head, arm and hip. He noted that Steenkamp also had a wound on her left hand, possibly from a bullet, and described abrasions and smaller injuries caused by splinters, which he said were consistent with bullets fired through a wooden object.

Away from the courthouse, JC de Klerk, a forensic ballistic specialist who used to work for the South African police, agreed with Saayman that the headshot likely killed Steenkamp immediately.

“If the doctor found a Black Talon bullet inside her head … she would have died, I would say, not in seconds but in milliseconds,” de Klerk told The Associated Press in a telephone interview.

De Klerk said the bullets were rare in South Africa and designed to cause “excessive wounds.”

The detailed evidence regarding the injuries is important because, for one, Pistorius has claimed that Steenkamp was slumped over but alive when he eventually reached her after shooting her in error thinking she was a dangerous intruder.

That appears unlikely given Saayman’s testimony, but the pathologist did note that sometimes it takes a little time for a person’s heart to stop after a devastating head injury.

But his testimony also could harm the prosecution’s claims that Steenkamp screamed during the shooting, unless prosecutors can show that the head shot was the last one to hit her.

Saayman also said that judging by the food contents in her stomach, Steenkamp probably last ate no more than two hours before her death. Steenkamp was shot after 3 a.m., meaning she must have eaten after 1 a.m. That hinted at another possible wrinkle in Pistorius’ account because he claims the couple was in the bedroom by 10 p.m.

Pistorius’ defense team has indicated it will submit its own autopsy report to support his claim that the killing was a tragic accident.

If convicted on the murder charge, Pistorius, 27, could be sent to prison for at least 25 years before the chance of parole, the minimum time someone must serve if given a life sentence in South Africa. The judge will ultimately deliver the verdict and decide on any sentence. South Africa has no trial by jury.

Gerald Imray is on Twitter at www.twitter.com/GeraldImrayAP

Pistorius vomits during graphic testimony

KDWN

PRETORIA, South Africa (AP) — Oscar Pistorius vomited in the dock and retched repeatedly and loudly at his murder trial Monday as he heard graphic details of the injuries sustained by the girlfriend he shot, including a head wound that was probably instantly fatal according to the pathologist who performed her autopsy.

Reeva Steenkamp was shot with bullets designed to expand on impact and cause maximum damage, Prof. Gert Saayman testified after he identified the type of bullet from fragments in Steenkamp’s skull.

Saayman’s testimony was not broadcast or reported live on Twitter by journalists because of its explicit content under an order from Judge Thokozile Masipa. However, journalists were allowed to report the testimony without directly quoting the witness’s words.

The double-amputee runner, hunched over on a bench, vomited when he heard the description of Steenkamp’s wounds, prompting Masipa to briefly halt the testimony to ask chief defense lawyer Barry Roux to attend to his client. The judge also asked whether Pistorius was able to understand the proceedings. Roux said Pistorius’ reaction was not going to change. A bucket was placed at his feet.

After court adjourned for the day, Pistorius sat for a few minutes with his hands over his ears and his body heaving and bent forward as his brother held a hand on his back.

Saayman stood for much of his testimony, referring to photographs that were not shown to the gallery as he described bullet wounds on Steenkamp’s body, one to the right side of the head, one to the right arm and one to the right hip area. He also described exit wounds caused by the bullets and other abrasions and discoloration of the skin, consistent with the impact of a bullet fired through a wooden object such as a door.

Saayman said that each of the three main gunshot wounds Steenkamp suffered could have been fatal in isolation. Steenkamp’s right arm was also broken and she had multiple skull fractures, both because of the effect of bullets, Saayman said.

There was another wound on one of Steenkamp’s hands, Saayman said. Steenkamp, a model and personality on a television reality show, was wearing a pair of sports shorts with a Nike logo, a former sponsor of Pistorius, and a black undershirt when she was shot, he said.

Saayman also gave his expert opinion on how long before she died Steenkamp last ate by the food contents in her stomach. He estimated that it wouldn’t have been more than two hours before she died. That appeared to contradict Pistorius’ version that suggests the couple had eaten and were in bed by 10 p.m. Steenkamp was shot after 3 a.m.

Pistorius, the first amputee to run in the Olympics, is charged with premeditated murder for 29-year-old Steenkamp’s shooting death before dawn on Feb. 14, 2013. Pistorius, 27, says the killing was accidental because he thought his girlfriend was a dangerous intruder when he shot her through the door of a toilet cubicle in his home.

Earlier, prosecutor Gerrie Nel, supported by chief defense lawyer Barry Roux, said Saayman’s testimony would have an “explicitly graphic nature” and should not be shown around the world. Masipa then announced a ban on live audio and video broadcasting, and extended the order to live reporting on social media.

“Twitter is not allowed. Blogging is not allowed,” Masipa said.

Proceedings can be partly televised and the audio can be broadcast in its entirety under a judge’s pre-trial order that sought to balance the right to a fair trial with the intense public interest in the Pistorius case and the principle of open justice. Under the order, witnesses can choose not to be shown on television.

Earlier Monday, Masipa extended that order, saying “private witnesses are more vulnerable than public figures” and that still photographs of witnesses who requested privacy cannot be published or disseminated for the duration of the trial, even if they were obtained from sources outside the courtroom.

Earlier Monday, a security guard who said he spoke with Pistorius soon after the shooting of Steenkamp was challenged by the defense about his recollection of the sequences of the events that night.

The sequence is important for the defense because, if it can prove that Pistorius called security first, it could support the contention that he was seeking help as quickly as possible.

The guard, Pieter Baba, had testified Friday that he called Pistorius and was told “everything is fine” on the telephone. Baba said Pistorius then called him back moments later, didn’t speak, was crying and the second call then ended.

Baba said he was responding to neighbors’ reports of gunshots coming from Pistorius’ home after 3 a.m. on Valentine’s Day last year. He drove with a fellow guard to Pistorius’ villa and made the call from outside the house.

Baba’s statement that he called Pistorius first could back the prosecution’s case that the killing was premeditated, and that Pistorius was trying, at least initially, to conceal what he had done.

On Monday, however, Roux said call records showed Pistorius called security first, but couldn’t speak because he was “indeed crying.”

Pistorius vomits during graphic testimony

KDWN

PRETORIA, South Africa (AP) — Oscar Pistorius vomited in the dock and retched repeatedly and loudly at his murder trial Monday as he heard graphic details of the injuries sustained by the girlfriend he shot, including a head wound that was probably instantly fatal according to the pathologist who performed her autopsy.

Reeva Steenkamp was shot with bullets designed to expand on impact and cause maximum damage, Prof. Gert Saayman testified after he identified the type of bullet from fragments in Steenkamp’s skull.

Saayman’s testimony was not broadcast or reported live on Twitter by journalists because of its explicit content under an order from Judge Thokozile Masipa. However, journalists were allowed to report the testimony without directly quoting the witness’s words.

The double-amputee runner, hunched over on a bench, vomited when he heard the description of Steenkamp’s wounds, prompting Masipa to briefly halt the testimony to ask chief defense lawyer Barry Roux to attend to his client. The judge also asked whether Pistorius was able to understand the proceedings. Roux said Pistorius’ reaction was not going to change. A bucket was placed at his feet.

After court adjourned for the day, Pistorius sat for a few minutes with his hands over his ears and his body heaving and bent forward as his brother held a hand on his back.

Saayman stood for much of his testimony, referring to photographs that were not shown to the gallery as he described bullet wounds on Steenkamp’s body, one to the right side of the head, one to the right arm and one to the right hip area. He also described exit wounds caused by the bullets and other abrasions and discoloration of the skin, consistent with the impact of a bullet fired through a wooden object such as a door.

Saayman said that each of the three main gunshot wounds Steenkamp suffered could have been fatal in isolation. Steenkamp’s right arm was also broken and she had multiple skull fractures, both because of the effect of bullets, Saayman said.

There was another wound on one of Steenkamp’s hands, Saayman said. Steenkamp, a model and personality on a television reality show, was wearing a pair of sports shorts with a Nike logo, a former sponsor of Pistorius, and a black undershirt when she was shot, he said.

Saayman also gave his expert opinion on how long before she died Steenkamp last ate by the food contents in her stomach. He estimated that it wouldn’t have been more than two hours before she died. That appeared to contradict Pistorius’ version that suggests the couple had eaten and were in bed by 10 p.m. Steenkamp was shot after 3 a.m.

Pistorius, the first amputee to run in the Olympics, is charged with premeditated murder for 29-year-old Steenkamp’s shooting death before dawn on Feb. 14, 2013. Pistorius, 27, says the killing was accidental because he thought his girlfriend was a dangerous intruder when he shot her through the door of a toilet cubicle in his home.

Earlier, prosecutor Gerrie Nel, supported by chief defense lawyer Barry Roux, said Saayman’s testimony would have an “explicitly graphic nature” and should not be shown around the world. Masipa then announced a ban on live audio and video broadcasting, and extended the order to live reporting on social media.

“Twitter is not allowed. Blogging is not allowed,” Masipa said.

Proceedings can be partly televised and the audio can be broadcast in its entirety under a judge’s pre-trial order that sought to balance the right to a fair trial with the intense public interest in the Pistorius case and the principle of open justice. Under the order, witnesses can choose not to be shown on television.

Earlier Monday, Masipa extended that order, saying “private witnesses are more vulnerable than public figures” and that still photographs of witnesses who requested privacy cannot be published or disseminated for the duration of the trial, even if they were obtained from sources outside the courtroom.

Earlier Monday, a security guard who said he spoke with Pistorius soon after the shooting of Steenkamp was challenged by the defense about his recollection of the sequences of the events that night.

The sequence is important for the defense because, if it can prove that Pistorius called security first, it could support the contention that he was seeking help as quickly as possible.

The guard, Pieter Baba, had testified Friday that he called Pistorius and was told “everything is fine” on the telephone. Baba said Pistorius then called him back moments later, didn’t speak, was crying and the second call then ended.

Baba said he was responding to neighbors’ reports of gunshots coming from Pistorius’ home after 3 a.m. on Valentine’s Day last year. He drove with a fellow guard to Pistorius’ villa and made the call from outside the house.

Baba’s statement that he called Pistorius first could back the prosecution’s case that the killing was premeditated, and that Pistorius was trying, at least initially, to conceal what he had done.

On Monday, however, Roux said call records showed Pistorius called security first, but couldn’t speak because he was “indeed crying.”