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Pistorius photographed in bloodied prosthetics

KDWN

PRETORIA, South Africa (AP) — Displaying photographs of a bare-chested Oscar Pistorius standing in his garage on bloodied prosthetic legs and wearing shorts soaked in his girlfriend’s blood, prosecutors attempted Friday to focus attention on the killing for which the double-amputee Olympian is on trial for murder, while the defense poked holes in the police investigation that followed it.

The photos were taken in Pistorius’ Pretoria home by police soon after he shot Reeva Steenkamp before dawn on Feb. 14, 2013.

Pistorius was seen from the front in the first photo shown in court, his muscled athlete’s chest clean of blood while he stood on limbs stained up to the knees. A second image put up on television monitors in the courtroom was taken from Pistorius’ left, showing a smear of blood not far from a tattoo of a biblical verse on his back.

He had shot his girlfriend about an hour earlier.

Pistorius was a celebrated track runner who rose from the hardship of having his legs amputated as a baby to compete at the London Olympics. He now faces 25 years to life in prison if convicted of premeditated murder.

The prosecution says Pistorius, 27, killed Steenkamp, 29, intentionally after a loud fight. The athlete maintains he shot her with his licensed 9 mm pistol by mistake, thinking she was an intruder in his bathroom.

While prosecutors have recreated the bloody crime scene and Pistorius’ physical condition through a sequence of photographs over two days in court, Pistorius’ chief defense lawyer, Barry Roux, embarked on a minute examination of what he contends is major police bungling in the hours, days and even months after the shooting.

Roux said that officers moved evidence and disturbed the scene at the home, and failed to wear proper forensic clothing while picking through it. Police concede they kept the most crucial object – the wooden toilet cubicle door through which Pistorius shot Steenkamp – in a body bag in an office and that some of the fragments of wood disappeared.

Defense experts said they have also found key marks in the door that were not identified by police.

A former police colonel, one of the first on the scene, also testified Friday that he had to have police forensic experts frisked and their bags and cars searched after one of a collection of nine expensive watches in Pistorius’ bedroom disappeared. G.S. van Rensburg said he opened a case of theft.

Roux’s early questions Friday reflected one of the key arguments in Pistorius’ defense – that police tampered with the scene and contaminated the evidence.

“Were you acutely aware that you should not disturb the scene? Did you have that awareness?” Roux asked van Rensburg, who said he arrived just before 4 a.m., about 30 to 40 minutes after prosecutors say Pistorius shot Steenkamp.

Roux honed in on small details. He said a small towel covering a cellphone in the bloody bathroom was moved so that it could be photographed, and that the evidence notes incorrectly presented the image as the crime scene as it was found. A fan, curtains and an overnight bag and a pair of sandals apparently belonging to Steenkamp also were moved without van Rensburg’s knowing when and by whom, he said.

There were bigger concerns.

During the investigation in the bathroom, van Rensburg testified that he turned around at one point to see that the firearms expert was handling the silver and black handgun Pistorius used to kill Steenkamp and had taken the magazine out of the weapon without using gloves.

“I asked him, `What are you doing?'” van Rensburg said. The officer realized his error, apologized, put the magazine back in the gun and put it back down, according to van Rensburg. He then put on his forensic gloves.

“I was very angry,” van Rensburg said.

The prosecution also posed questions, however, through its collection of photos from the inside of Pistorius’ house. The photos showed blood stains and smatter on walls, floors and furniture, both upstairs and downstairs, where Pistorius says he carried Steenkamp to get help. They also revealed dents in the bedroom door, broken tiles in the bathroom and a metal panel on the wall that had been bashed in.

And for the first time, prosecutors offered a glimpse of the tiny toilet cubicle where Steenkamp was shot, displaying a close-up photograph of the toilet and an extensive blood smear on the rim, as well as thick blood streaks in the bowl, where the water was dark with blood.

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

Pistorius photographed in bloodied prosthetics

KDWN

PRETORIA, South Africa (AP) — Displaying photographs of a bare-chested Oscar Pistorius standing in his garage on bloodied prosthetic legs and wearing shorts soaked in his girlfriend’s blood, prosecutors attempted Friday to focus attention on the killing for which the double-amputee Olympian is on trial for murder, while the defense poked holes in the police investigation that followed it.

The photos were taken in Pistorius’ Pretoria home by police soon after he shot Reeva Steenkamp before dawn on Feb. 14, 2013.

Pistorius was seen from the front in the first photo shown in court, his muscled athlete’s chest clean of blood while he stood on limbs stained up to the knees. A second image put up on television monitors in the courtroom was taken from Pistorius’ left, showing a smear of blood not far from a tattoo of a biblical verse on his back.

He had shot his girlfriend about an hour earlier.

Pistorius was a celebrated track runner who rose from the hardship of having his legs amputated as a baby to compete at the London Olympics. He now faces 25 years to life in prison if convicted of premeditated murder.

The prosecution says Pistorius, 27, killed Steenkamp, 29, intentionally after a loud fight. The athlete maintains he shot her with his licensed 9 mm pistol by mistake, thinking she was an intruder in his bathroom.

While prosecutors have recreated the bloody crime scene and Pistorius’ physical condition through a sequence of photographs over two days in court, Pistorius’ chief defense lawyer, Barry Roux, embarked on a minute examination of what he contends is major police bungling in the hours, days and even months after the shooting.

Roux said that officers moved evidence and disturbed the scene at the home, and failed to wear proper forensic clothing while picking through it. Police concede they kept the most crucial object – the wooden toilet cubicle door through which Pistorius shot Steenkamp – in a body bag in an office and that some of the fragments of wood disappeared.

Defense experts said they have also found key marks in the door that were not identified by police.

A former police colonel, one of the first on the scene, also testified Friday that he had to have police forensic experts frisked and their bags and cars searched after one of a collection of nine expensive watches in Pistorius’ bedroom disappeared. G.S. van Rensburg said he opened a case of theft.

Roux’s early questions Friday reflected one of the key arguments in Pistorius’ defense – that police tampered with the scene and contaminated the evidence.

“Were you acutely aware that you should not disturb the scene? Did you have that awareness?” Roux asked van Rensburg, who said he arrived just before 4 a.m., about 30 to 40 minutes after prosecutors say Pistorius shot Steenkamp.

Roux honed in on small details. He said a small towel covering a cellphone in the bloody bathroom was moved so that it could be photographed, and that the evidence notes incorrectly presented the image as the crime scene as it was found. A fan, curtains and an overnight bag and a pair of sandals apparently belonging to Steenkamp also were moved without van Rensburg’s knowing when and by whom, he said.

There were bigger concerns.

During the investigation in the bathroom, van Rensburg testified that he turned around at one point to see that the firearms expert was handling the silver and black handgun Pistorius used to kill Steenkamp and had taken the magazine out of the weapon without using gloves.

“I asked him, `What are you doing?'” van Rensburg said. The officer realized his error, apologized, put the magazine back in the gun and put it back down, according to van Rensburg. He then put on his forensic gloves.

“I was very angry,” van Rensburg said.

The prosecution also posed questions, however, through its collection of photos from the inside of Pistorius’ house. The photos showed blood stains and smatter on walls, floors and furniture, both upstairs and downstairs, where Pistorius says he carried Steenkamp to get help. They also revealed dents in the bedroom door, broken tiles in the bathroom and a metal panel on the wall that had been bashed in.

And for the first time, prosecutors offered a glimpse of the tiny toilet cubicle where Steenkamp was shot, displaying a close-up photograph of the toilet and an extensive blood smear on the rim, as well as thick blood streaks in the bowl, where the water was dark with blood.

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

Pistorius photographed in bloodied prosthetics

KDWN

PRETORIA, South Africa (AP) — Displaying photographs of a bare-chested Oscar Pistorius standing in his garage on bloodied prosthetic legs and wearing shorts soaked in his girlfriend’s blood, prosecutors attempted Friday to focus attention on the killing for which the double-amputee Olympian is on trial for murder, while the defense poked holes in the police investigation that followed it.

The photos were taken in Pistorius’ Pretoria home by police soon after he shot Reeva Steenkamp before dawn on Feb. 14, 2013.

Pistorius was seen from the front in the first photo shown in court, his muscled athlete’s chest clean of blood while he stood on limbs stained up to the knees. A second image put up on television monitors in the courtroom was taken from Pistorius’ left, showing a smear of blood not far from a tattoo of a biblical verse on his back.

He had shot his girlfriend about an hour earlier.

Pistorius was a celebrated track runner who rose from the hardship of having his legs amputated as a baby to compete at the London Olympics. He now faces 25 years to life in prison if convicted of premeditated murder.

The prosecution says Pistorius, 27, killed Steenkamp, 29, intentionally after a loud fight. The athlete maintains he shot her with his licensed 9 mm pistol by mistake, thinking she was an intruder in his bathroom.

While prosecutors have recreated the bloody crime scene and Pistorius’ physical condition through a sequence of photographs over two days in court, Pistorius’ chief defense lawyer, Barry Roux, embarked on a minute examination of what he contends is major police bungling in the hours, days and even months after the shooting.

Roux said that officers moved evidence and disturbed the scene at the home, and failed to wear proper forensic clothing while picking through it. Police concede they kept the most crucial object – the wooden toilet cubicle door through which Pistorius shot Steenkamp – in a body bag in an office and that some of the fragments of wood disappeared.

Defense experts said they have also found key marks in the door that were not identified by police.

A former police colonel, one of the first on the scene, also testified Friday that he had to have police forensic experts frisked and their bags and cars searched after one of a collection of nine expensive watches in Pistorius’ bedroom disappeared. G.S. van Rensburg said he opened a case of theft.

Roux’s early questions Friday reflected one of the key arguments in Pistorius’ defense – that police tampered with the scene and contaminated the evidence.

“Were you acutely aware that you should not disturb the scene? Did you have that awareness?” Roux asked van Rensburg, who said he arrived just before 4 a.m., about 30 to 40 minutes after prosecutors say Pistorius shot Steenkamp.

Roux honed in on small details. He said a small towel covering a cellphone in the bloody bathroom was moved so that it could be photographed, and that the evidence notes incorrectly presented the image as the crime scene as it was found. A fan, curtains and an overnight bag and a pair of sandals apparently belonging to Steenkamp also were moved without van Rensburg’s knowing when and by whom, he said.

There were bigger concerns.

During the investigation in the bathroom, van Rensburg testified that he turned around at one point to see that the firearms expert was handling the silver and black handgun Pistorius used to kill Steenkamp and had taken the magazine out of the weapon without using gloves.

“I asked him, `What are you doing?'” van Rensburg said. The officer realized his error, apologized, put the magazine back in the gun and put it back down, according to van Rensburg. He then put on his forensic gloves.

“I was very angry,” van Rensburg said.

The prosecution also posed questions, however, through its collection of photos from the inside of Pistorius’ house. The photos showed blood stains and smatter on walls, floors and furniture, both upstairs and downstairs, where Pistorius says he carried Steenkamp to get help. They also revealed dents in the bedroom door, broken tiles in the bathroom and a metal panel on the wall that had been bashed in.

And for the first time, prosecutors offered a glimpse of the tiny toilet cubicle where Steenkamp was shot, displaying a close-up photograph of the toilet and an extensive blood smear on the rim, as well as thick blood streaks in the bowl, where the water was dark with blood.

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

Pistorius photographed in bloodied prosthetics

KDWN

PRETORIA, South Africa (AP) — Displaying photographs of a bare-chested Oscar Pistorius standing in his garage on bloodied prosthetic legs and wearing shorts soaked in his girlfriend’s blood, prosecutors attempted Friday to focus attention on the killing for which the double-amputee Olympian is on trial for murder, while the defense poked holes in the police investigation that followed it.

The photos were taken in Pistorius’ Pretoria home by police soon after he shot Reeva Steenkamp before dawn on Feb. 14, 2013.

Pistorius was seen from the front in the first photo shown in court, his muscled athlete’s chest clean of blood while he stood on limbs stained up to the knees. A second image put up on television monitors in the courtroom was taken from Pistorius’ left, showing a smear of blood not far from a tattoo of a biblical verse on his back.

He had shot his girlfriend about an hour earlier.

Pistorius was a celebrated track runner who rose from the hardship of having his legs amputated as a baby to compete at the London Olympics. He now faces 25 years to life in prison if convicted of premeditated murder.

The prosecution says Pistorius, 27, killed Steenkamp, 29, intentionally after a loud fight. The athlete maintains he shot her with his licensed 9 mm pistol by mistake, thinking she was an intruder in his bathroom.

While prosecutors have recreated the bloody crime scene and Pistorius’ physical condition through a sequence of photographs over two days in court, Pistorius’ chief defense lawyer, Barry Roux, embarked on a minute examination of what he contends is major police bungling in the hours, days and even months after the shooting.

Roux said that officers moved evidence and disturbed the scene at the home, and failed to wear proper forensic clothing while picking through it. Police concede they kept the most crucial object – the wooden toilet cubicle door through which Pistorius shot Steenkamp – in a body bag in an office and that some of the fragments of wood disappeared.

Defense experts said they have also found key marks in the door that were not identified by police.

A former police colonel, one of the first on the scene, also testified Friday that he had to have police forensic experts frisked and their bags and cars searched after one of a collection of nine expensive watches in Pistorius’ bedroom disappeared. G.S. van Rensburg said he opened a case of theft.

Roux’s early questions Friday reflected one of the key arguments in Pistorius’ defense – that police tampered with the scene and contaminated the evidence.

“Were you acutely aware that you should not disturb the scene? Did you have that awareness?” Roux asked van Rensburg, who said he arrived just before 4 a.m., about 30 to 40 minutes after prosecutors say Pistorius shot Steenkamp.

Roux honed in on small details. He said a small towel covering a cellphone in the bloody bathroom was moved so that it could be photographed, and that the evidence notes incorrectly presented the image as the crime scene as it was found. A fan, curtains and an overnight bag and a pair of sandals apparently belonging to Steenkamp also were moved without van Rensburg’s knowing when and by whom, he said.

There were bigger concerns.

During the investigation in the bathroom, van Rensburg testified that he turned around at one point to see that the firearms expert was handling the silver and black handgun Pistorius used to kill Steenkamp and had taken the magazine out of the weapon without using gloves.

“I asked him, `What are you doing?'” van Rensburg said. The officer realized his error, apologized, put the magazine back in the gun and put it back down, according to van Rensburg. He then put on his forensic gloves.

“I was very angry,” van Rensburg said.

The prosecution also posed questions, however, through its collection of photos from the inside of Pistorius’ house. The photos showed blood stains and smatter on walls, floors and furniture, both upstairs and downstairs, where Pistorius says he carried Steenkamp to get help. They also revealed dents in the bedroom door, broken tiles in the bathroom and a metal panel on the wall that had been bashed in.

And for the first time, prosecutors offered a glimpse of the tiny toilet cubicle where Steenkamp was shot, displaying a close-up photograph of the toilet and an extensive blood smear on the rim, as well as thick blood streaks in the bowl, where the water was dark with blood.

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

Pistorius photographed in bloodied prosthetics

KDWN

PRETORIA, South Africa (AP) — Displaying photographs of a bare-chested Oscar Pistorius standing in his garage on bloodied prosthetic legs and wearing shorts soaked in his girlfriend’s blood, prosecutors attempted Friday to focus attention on the killing for which the double-amputee Olympian is on trial for murder, while the defense poked holes in the police investigation that followed it.

The photos were taken in Pistorius’ Pretoria home by police soon after he shot Reeva Steenkamp before dawn on Feb. 14, 2013.

Pistorius was seen from the front in the first photo shown in court, his muscled athlete’s chest clean of blood while he stood on limbs stained up to the knees. A second image put up on television monitors in the courtroom was taken from Pistorius’ left, showing a smear of blood not far from a tattoo of a biblical verse on his back.

He had shot his girlfriend about an hour earlier.

Pistorius was a celebrated track runner who rose from the hardship of having his legs amputated as a baby to compete at the London Olympics. He now faces 25 years to life in prison if convicted of premeditated murder.

The prosecution says Pistorius, 27, killed Steenkamp, 29, intentionally after a loud fight. The athlete maintains he shot her with his licensed 9 mm pistol by mistake, thinking she was an intruder in his bathroom.

While prosecutors have recreated the bloody crime scene and Pistorius’ physical condition through a sequence of photographs over two days in court, Pistorius’ chief defense lawyer, Barry Roux, embarked on a minute examination of what he contends is major police bungling in the hours, days and even months after the shooting.

Roux said that officers moved evidence and disturbed the scene at the home, and failed to wear proper forensic clothing while picking through it. Police concede they kept the most crucial object – the wooden toilet cubicle door through which Pistorius shot Steenkamp – in a body bag in an office and that some of the fragments of wood disappeared.

Defense experts said they have also found key marks in the door that were not identified by police.

A former police colonel, one of the first on the scene, also testified Friday that he had to have police forensic experts frisked and their bags and cars searched after one of a collection of nine expensive watches in Pistorius’ bedroom disappeared. G.S. van Rensburg said he opened a case of theft.

Roux’s early questions Friday reflected one of the key arguments in Pistorius’ defense – that police tampered with the scene and contaminated the evidence.

“Were you acutely aware that you should not disturb the scene? Did you have that awareness?” Roux asked van Rensburg, who said he arrived just before 4 a.m., about 30 to 40 minutes after prosecutors say Pistorius shot Steenkamp.

Roux honed in on small details. He said a small towel covering a cellphone in the bloody bathroom was moved so that it could be photographed, and that the evidence notes incorrectly presented the image as the crime scene as it was found. A fan, curtains and an overnight bag and a pair of sandals apparently belonging to Steenkamp also were moved without van Rensburg’s knowing when and by whom, he said.

There were bigger concerns.

During the investigation in the bathroom, van Rensburg testified that he turned around at one point to see that the firearms expert was handling the silver and black handgun Pistorius used to kill Steenkamp and had taken the magazine out of the weapon without using gloves.

“I asked him, `What are you doing?'” van Rensburg said. The officer realized his error, apologized, put the magazine back in the gun and put it back down, according to van Rensburg. He then put on his forensic gloves.

“I was very angry,” van Rensburg said.

The prosecution also posed questions, however, through its collection of photos from the inside of Pistorius’ house. The photos showed blood stains and smatter on walls, floors and furniture, both upstairs and downstairs, where Pistorius says he carried Steenkamp to get help. They also revealed dents in the bedroom door, broken tiles in the bathroom and a metal panel on the wall that had been bashed in.

And for the first time, prosecutors offered a glimpse of the tiny toilet cubicle where Steenkamp was shot, displaying a close-up photograph of the toilet and an extensive blood smear on the rim, as well as thick blood streaks in the bowl, where the water was dark with blood.

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

Pistorius photographed in bloodied prosthetics

KDWN

PRETORIA, South Africa (AP) — Displaying photographs of a bare-chested Oscar Pistorius standing in his garage on bloodied prosthetic legs and wearing shorts soaked in his girlfriend’s blood, prosecutors attempted Friday to focus attention on the killing for which the double-amputee Olympian is on trial for murder, while the defense poked holes in the police investigation that followed it.

The photos were taken in Pistorius’ Pretoria home by police soon after he shot Reeva Steenkamp before dawn on Feb. 14, 2013.

Pistorius was seen from the front in the first photo shown in court, his muscled athlete’s chest clean of blood while he stood on limbs stained up to the knees. A second image put up on television monitors in the courtroom was taken from Pistorius’ left, showing a smear of blood not far from a tattoo of a biblical verse on his back.

He had shot his girlfriend about an hour earlier.

Pistorius was a celebrated track runner who rose from the hardship of having his legs amputated as a baby to compete at the London Olympics. He now faces 25 years to life in prison if convicted of premeditated murder.

The prosecution says Pistorius, 27, killed Steenkamp, 29, intentionally after a loud fight. The athlete maintains he shot her with his licensed 9 mm pistol by mistake, thinking she was an intruder in his bathroom.

While prosecutors have recreated the bloody crime scene and Pistorius’ physical condition through a sequence of photographs over two days in court, Pistorius’ chief defense lawyer, Barry Roux, embarked on a minute examination of what he contends is major police bungling in the hours, days and even months after the shooting.

Roux said that officers moved evidence and disturbed the scene at the home, and failed to wear proper forensic clothing while picking through it. Police concede they kept the most crucial object – the wooden toilet cubicle door through which Pistorius shot Steenkamp – in a body bag in an office and that some of the fragments of wood disappeared.

Defense experts said they have also found key marks in the door that were not identified by police.

A former police colonel, one of the first on the scene, also testified Friday that he had to have police forensic experts frisked and their bags and cars searched after one of a collection of nine expensive watches in Pistorius’ bedroom disappeared. G.S. van Rensburg said he opened a case of theft.

Roux’s early questions Friday reflected one of the key arguments in Pistorius’ defense – that police tampered with the scene and contaminated the evidence.

“Were you acutely aware that you should not disturb the scene? Did you have that awareness?” Roux asked van Rensburg, who said he arrived just before 4 a.m., about 30 to 40 minutes after prosecutors say Pistorius shot Steenkamp.

Roux honed in on small details. He said a small towel covering a cellphone in the bloody bathroom was moved so that it could be photographed, and that the evidence notes incorrectly presented the image as the crime scene as it was found. A fan, curtains and an overnight bag and a pair of sandals apparently belonging to Steenkamp also were moved without van Rensburg’s knowing when and by whom, he said.

There were bigger concerns.

During the investigation in the bathroom, van Rensburg testified that he turned around at one point to see that the firearms expert was handling the silver and black handgun Pistorius used to kill Steenkamp and had taken the magazine out of the weapon without using gloves.

“I asked him, `What are you doing?'” van Rensburg said. The officer realized his error, apologized, put the magazine back in the gun and put it back down, according to van Rensburg. He then put on his forensic gloves.

“I was very angry,” van Rensburg said.

The prosecution also posed questions, however, through its collection of photos from the inside of Pistorius’ house. The photos showed blood stains and smatter on walls, floors and furniture, both upstairs and downstairs, where Pistorius says he carried Steenkamp to get help. They also revealed dents in the bedroom door, broken tiles in the bathroom and a metal panel on the wall that had been bashed in.

And for the first time, prosecutors offered a glimpse of the tiny toilet cubicle where Steenkamp was shot, displaying a close-up photograph of the toilet and an extensive blood smear on the rim, as well as thick blood streaks in the bowl, where the water was dark with blood.

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

Pistorius photographed in bloodied prosthetics

KDWN

PRETORIA, South Africa (AP) — Displaying photographs of a bare-chested Oscar Pistorius standing in his garage on bloodied prosthetic legs and wearing shorts soaked in his girlfriend’s blood, prosecutors attempted Friday to focus attention on the killing for which the double-amputee Olympian is on trial for murder, while the defense poked holes in the police investigation that followed it.

The photos were taken in Pistorius’ Pretoria home by police soon after he shot Reeva Steenkamp before dawn on Feb. 14, 2013.

Pistorius was seen from the front in the first photo shown in court, his muscled athlete’s chest clean of blood while he stood on limbs stained up to the knees. A second image put up on television monitors in the courtroom was taken from Pistorius’ left, showing a smear of blood not far from a tattoo of a biblical verse on his back.

He had shot his girlfriend about an hour earlier.

Pistorius was a celebrated track runner who rose from the hardship of having his legs amputated as a baby to compete at the London Olympics. He now faces 25 years to life in prison if convicted of premeditated murder.

The prosecution says Pistorius, 27, killed Steenkamp, 29, intentionally after a loud fight. The athlete maintains he shot her with his licensed 9 mm pistol by mistake, thinking she was an intruder in his bathroom.

While prosecutors have recreated the bloody crime scene and Pistorius’ physical condition through a sequence of photographs over two days in court, Pistorius’ chief defense lawyer, Barry Roux, embarked on a minute examination of what he contends is major police bungling in the hours, days and even months after the shooting.

Roux said that officers moved evidence and disturbed the scene at the home, and failed to wear proper forensic clothing while picking through it. Police concede they kept the most crucial object – the wooden toilet cubicle door through which Pistorius shot Steenkamp – in a body bag in an office and that some of the fragments of wood disappeared.

Defense experts said they have also found key marks in the door that were not identified by police.

A former police colonel, one of the first on the scene, also testified Friday that he had to have police forensic experts frisked and their bags and cars searched after one of a collection of nine expensive watches in Pistorius’ bedroom disappeared. G.S. van Rensburg said he opened a case of theft.

Roux’s early questions Friday reflected one of the key arguments in Pistorius’ defense – that police tampered with the scene and contaminated the evidence.

“Were you acutely aware that you should not disturb the scene? Did you have that awareness?” Roux asked van Rensburg, who said he arrived just before 4 a.m., about 30 to 40 minutes after prosecutors say Pistorius shot Steenkamp.

Roux honed in on small details. He said a small towel covering a cellphone in the bloody bathroom was moved so that it could be photographed, and that the evidence notes incorrectly presented the image as the crime scene as it was found. A fan, curtains and an overnight bag and a pair of sandals apparently belonging to Steenkamp also were moved without van Rensburg’s knowing when and by whom, he said.

There were bigger concerns.

During the investigation in the bathroom, van Rensburg testified that he turned around at one point to see that the firearms expert was handling the silver and black handgun Pistorius used to kill Steenkamp and had taken the magazine out of the weapon without using gloves.

“I asked him, `What are you doing?'” van Rensburg said. The officer realized his error, apologized, put the magazine back in the gun and put it back down, according to van Rensburg. He then put on his forensic gloves.

“I was very angry,” van Rensburg said.

The prosecution also posed questions, however, through its collection of photos from the inside of Pistorius’ house. The photos showed blood stains and smatter on walls, floors and furniture, both upstairs and downstairs, where Pistorius says he carried Steenkamp to get help. They also revealed dents in the bedroom door, broken tiles in the bathroom and a metal panel on the wall that had been bashed in.

And for the first time, prosecutors offered a glimpse of the tiny toilet cubicle where Steenkamp was shot, displaying a close-up photograph of the toilet and an extensive blood smear on the rim, as well as thick blood streaks in the bowl, where the water was dark with blood.

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

Pistorius photographed in bloodied prosthetics

KDWN

PRETORIA, South Africa (AP) — Displaying photographs of a bare-chested Oscar Pistorius standing in his garage on bloodied prosthetic legs and wearing shorts soaked in his girlfriend’s blood, prosecutors attempted Friday to focus attention on the killing for which the double-amputee Olympian is on trial for murder, while the defense poked holes in the police investigation that followed it.

The photos were taken in Pistorius’ Pretoria home by police soon after he shot Reeva Steenkamp before dawn on Feb. 14, 2013.

Pistorius was seen from the front in the first photo shown in court, his muscled athlete’s chest clean of blood while he stood on limbs stained up to the knees. A second image put up on television monitors in the courtroom was taken from Pistorius’ left, showing a smear of blood not far from a tattoo of a biblical verse on his back.

He had shot his girlfriend about an hour earlier.

Pistorius was a celebrated track runner who rose from the hardship of having his legs amputated as a baby to compete at the London Olympics. He now faces 25 years to life in prison if convicted of premeditated murder.

The prosecution says Pistorius, 27, killed Steenkamp, 29, intentionally after a loud fight. The athlete maintains he shot her with his licensed 9 mm pistol by mistake, thinking she was an intruder in his bathroom.

While prosecutors have recreated the bloody crime scene and Pistorius’ physical condition through a sequence of photographs over two days in court, Pistorius’ chief defense lawyer, Barry Roux, embarked on a minute examination of what he contends is major police bungling in the hours, days and even months after the shooting.

Roux said that officers moved evidence and disturbed the scene at the home, and failed to wear proper forensic clothing while picking through it. Police concede they kept the most crucial object – the wooden toilet cubicle door through which Pistorius shot Steenkamp – in a body bag in an office and that some of the fragments of wood disappeared.

Defense experts said they have also found key marks in the door that were not identified by police.

A former police colonel, one of the first on the scene, also testified Friday that he had to have police forensic experts frisked and their bags and cars searched after one of a collection of nine expensive watches in Pistorius’ bedroom disappeared. G.S. van Rensburg said he opened a case of theft.

Roux’s early questions Friday reflected one of the key arguments in Pistorius’ defense – that police tampered with the scene and contaminated the evidence.

“Were you acutely aware that you should not disturb the scene? Did you have that awareness?” Roux asked van Rensburg, who said he arrived just before 4 a.m., about 30 to 40 minutes after prosecutors say Pistorius shot Steenkamp.

Roux honed in on small details. He said a small towel covering a cellphone in the bloody bathroom was moved so that it could be photographed, and that the evidence notes incorrectly presented the image as the crime scene as it was found. A fan, curtains and an overnight bag and a pair of sandals apparently belonging to Steenkamp also were moved without van Rensburg’s knowing when and by whom, he said.

There were bigger concerns.

During the investigation in the bathroom, van Rensburg testified that he turned around at one point to see that the firearms expert was handling the silver and black handgun Pistorius used to kill Steenkamp and had taken the magazine out of the weapon without using gloves.

“I asked him, `What are you doing?'” van Rensburg said. The officer realized his error, apologized, put the magazine back in the gun and put it back down, according to van Rensburg. He then put on his forensic gloves.

“I was very angry,” van Rensburg said.

The prosecution also posed questions, however, through its collection of photos from the inside of Pistorius’ house. The photos showed blood stains and smatter on walls, floors and furniture, both upstairs and downstairs, where Pistorius says he carried Steenkamp to get help. They also revealed dents in the bedroom door, broken tiles in the bathroom and a metal panel on the wall that had been bashed in.

And for the first time, prosecutors offered a glimpse of the tiny toilet cubicle where Steenkamp was shot, displaying a close-up photograph of the toilet and an extensive blood smear on the rim, as well as thick blood streaks in the bowl, where the water was dark with blood.

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

Pistorius photographed in bloodied prosthetics

KDWN

PRETORIA, South Africa (AP) — Police photographs of Oscar Pistorius standing on his blood-stained prosthetic legs and wearing shorts covered in blood, taken shortly after the athlete fatally shot his girlfriend, were shown to the court at his murder trial Friday.

Prosecutors displayed two photos on TV monitors in the courtroom. In one, the muscled Olympic athlete, who is shirtless, is standing facing the camera wearing his prosthetics. There are blood stains up to the knees of his limbs and his shorts are also bloodied, but his naked chest appears to be clean of blood.

A second photograph shows Pistorius from the waist up and from the left side, also showing blood on his shorts and parts of his body, with a tattoo visible on his back.

The photographs were taken in the garage of Pistorius’ Pretoria home where the athlete killed Reeva Steenkamp in the early hours of Valentine’s Day last year, a former policeman testified.

Former police colonel G.S. van Rensburg described the early part of the police investigation into the shooting after he arrived at the scene around 30 to 40 minutes after prosecutors say Pistorius killed Steenkamp in the pre-dawn hours of Feb. 14, 2013. The prosecution says Pistorius intentionally killed Steenkamp in an upstairs bathroom after a loud argument and then tried to cover it up by saying he thought the 29-year-old model was a dangerous intruder.

Pistorius, 27, maintains the killing was an accident and has pleaded not guilty to all charges against him.

Van Rensburg, the former commander at a police station close to Pistorius’ home, said he didn’t arrest Pistorius immediately after discovering Steenkamp had been shot dead, but did warn him to remain at the house.

“I told him I observed him as a suspect at that stage,” van Rensburg said. “I warned him of his rights. I said to him I wasn’t arresting him at that stage … I requested him to remain present at all times at the scene.”

Van Rensburg didn’t describe Pistorius’ reactions in detail, but said that the runner’s brother, Carl, sister, Aimee, and a lawyer arrived at the house.

During the investigation in the bathroom, van Rensburg also said that he turned around at one point to see that the firearms expert had handled the gun Pistorius used to kill Steenkamp and taken the magazine out of the weapon without using gloves.

“I asked him, `What are you doing?'” van Rensburg testified. The officer realized his error, apologized, put the magazine back in the gun and laid it on the mat where it was on the floor, van Rensburg said. He then took the gloves out of his chest pocket, and again picked up the gun, according to van Rensburg.

“I was very angry,” he said.

Van Rensburg also testified Friday that one of Pistorius’ expensive watches was apparently stolen from the crime scene that night. About eight expensive watches were found in a blood-spattered box in Pistorius’ bedroom upstairs, said van Rensburg and he said he warned fellow officers that the watches should be observed closely because they could be tempting to anyone moving through the crime scene.

Pistorius’ sister asked if she could take one of the watches, leaving seven in place, he said. But van Rensburg said another went missing while he was out of the room, prompting him to order the frisking of all the police forensic experts on the scene, as well as a search of their bags and vehicles, and the entire house.

Van Rensburg, who recalled that one of the officers had estimated the cost of one watch at close to $10,000, said he then opened a case of theft after the watch was not found.

Later, he said, Pistorius’ brother, Carl, asked if he could take the watches. Van Rensburg said he would instead hand the watches directly to Oscar Pistorius, the owner of the watches, but without the box, which was still being analyzed. While doing so, he asked Pistorius to inform him if anything else went missing, but nothing else was reported stolen.

On Thursday, images of blood stains on the walls, floors and furniture in Pistorius’ home were displayed in court, prompting Pistorius to look away from TV monitors showing the photographs. The screen in front of Pistorius was switched off Thursday and remained off for the testimony Friday morning.

Pistorius, the first double amputee to run at the Olympics, faces 25 years to life in prison if convicted of murder in Steenkamp’s killing.