‘Non-stop’ argument heard at Oscar Pistorius’ home before fatal shooting – Prosecutors

Defense lawyers exposed flaws in the prosecution case against Oscar Pistorius Wednesday as a court heard more dramatic details of the night he fatally shot his girlfriend, Reeva Steenkamp.

Oscar Pistorius stands inside the court on Wednesday. . Photo: Themba Hadebe / AP

Oscar Pistorius stands inside the court on Wednesday. . Photo: Themba Hadebe / AP

The Olympic and Paralympic athlete stared fixedly at the floor, sobbing occasionally, as a senior detective investigator described the scene when officers arrived at the house in the early hours of Valentine’s Day.

Pistorius wore a black suit and blue tie on the second day of a hearing that will decide whether he would be bailed over charges that the shooting of the model was premeditated.

Witnesses heard a “non-stop” argument at the home of Olympian Oscar Pistorius shortly before he fatally shot his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp, prosecutors told a South African court Wednesday.

Shouting was heard for an hour from the sprinter’s home in a Pretoria suburb around 2 a.m. on Valentine’s Day, prosecutors said.

A detective also testified that needles and testosterone were found in the athlete’s bedroom. The double-amputee’s defense disputed the claim, saying the substance was in fact a herbal remedy.

Pistorius was brought into the court wearing a black suit and blue tie on the second day of a hearing that will decide whether he would be bailed over charges that the shooting of the model was premeditated.

Pistorius, 26, stared fixedly at the floor and cried as an investigator described the scene when officers arrived at the house.

None of the phones found at Pistorius’ house had been used to call police, the investigators said.

The investigator said Steenkamp’s body was clothed and covered in towels, and that one bullet cartridge was discovered in the hallway of Pistorius’ home, with three more found in the bathroom. A firearm was found on the shower mat.

The investigator said he wants to charge Pistorius with possession of unlicenced ammunition, according to Reuters.

Detective Hilton Botha testified that one witness heard gunshots, saw lights on in the house, heard a woman screaming two or three times, then another few shots. Another witness heard an argument that lasted an hour, he said.

There were gasps from Pistorius’ family as Botha, under cross-examination, admitted one of the witnesses who heard an argument was 1,000 feet away from the house at the time.

The court heard a discussion about the layout inside of the detached house, in an upmarket, gated compound north of Pretoria.

Botha said the angle at which shots were fired through the door of a locked toilet within Pistorius’ en suite bathroom suggested the shooter had aimed specifically to hit somebody on the toilet.

“I believe he knew she was in the bathroom,” Botha said.

The defense also said Steenkamp’s bladder was empty, consistent with having gone to the toilet.

Pistorius’ brother, Carl, leaned forward in his seat during the cross-examination of Botha, and appeared distressed by the evidence – at one stage being comforted by their father.

After a lunchtime adjournment, cross-examination of Botha continued and it emerged the detective had met Pistorius before, following an incident at Pistorius’ house after which the athlete was arrested.

There were more gasps from the Pistorius family as the detective struggled to answer other questions. Two female relatives glanced at each other and smiled.

There was laughter in the courtroom as Botha said there was a risk Pistorius would flee if given bail.

As Wednesday’s session closed, Pistorius seemed composed. The hearing resumes Thursday, but is expected to conclude by the end of the week.

On the first day of the hearing, prosecutors and the defense presented clashing accounts of how and why Pistorius shot the 29-year-old law graduate.

Dubbed the “Blade Runner,” Pistorius maintains he fired into his locked bathroom in a panic over a possible prowler.

However, prosecutors alleged he calmly put on his artificial legs before he stalked Steenkamp to the bathroom to kill her.

A court statement from Pistorius denied “in the strongest terms” that he had deliberately killed Steenkamp, adding that the athlete was “deeply in love” with her, according to Reuters.

“I had no intention to kill my girlfriend,” the statement said.

Pistorius has hired his own high-profile forensic expert to analyze the police reports and post-mortem exam, South Africa news station ENCA reported.

His defense team includes lawyer Kenny Oldwage, who previously won an acquittal for a driver accused of killing Nelson Mandela’s great-grandchild in a 2010 accident.

NBC News‘ Tracy Connor and Reuters contributed to this report.

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