Oscar Pistorius was well known for his struggle with fibular hemimelia as an Olympic medalist. Pistorius was born without a fibula in both legs and prior to turning one year old, he had both legs amputated between his knees and ankles. Even with such a severe disability, he went on to become a great athlete by using a J-shaped carbon-fiber prosthesis in place of feet and ankles. He even set a disability sports world record in the 400 meter race. In the 2012 Summer Olympics, he was the first amputee runner to compete in an Olympic Games and was described by Time magazine as “the definition of global inspiration.” Pistorious seemed to have it all going for him, until the morning of Valentine’s Day in 2013 when he shot and killed his girlfriend, Reeva Steenkamp.
Early that morning, Pistorious heard some noise coming from a bathroom in his home. He alleges that he thought his girlfriend Reeva was still in bed and the noise must be coming from an intruder. Pistorious then allegedly put on his prosthetic legs and found his firearm and made his way towards the bathroom where he believed the intruder was hiding. He fired his weapon at the locked bathroom door four times. Three of the bullets hit Reeva; Pistorious claims he didn’t know Reeva was the one in the bathroom. However, according to the prosecution, Pistorious did know who was in that bathroom and that Reeva’s murder was actually premeditated.
The trial for this case commenced yesterday in Pretoria. Scheduled to testify at the hearing on Tuesday is the neighbor of Pistorious at the time of the incident. The neighbor testified that she heard screams coming from Reeva as she was being shot by her boyfriend. The neighbor’s story completely contradicts the story told by the suspect. Pistorious, with his criminal defense attorney backing him, pleaded not guilty to all the charges he is facing including all the firearms charges and the murder charge.
During the trial, Pistorious’ lead criminal defense attorney will likely attempt to portray their client as a young man in love whose character is under attack. During the first few days of his trial, his defense team has made attempts to show that the witnesses may have tailored their testimonies to match each others. In addition to that, the defense team If their defense strategies are ineffective and the suspect is found to have intended to kill that day, Pistorious could face a minimum 25-year sentence. He already faces a minimum of 15 years with his admission at the bail hearing in 2013 to culpable homicide. Culpable homicide is the equivalent to manslaughter. His trial is scheduled to last about three weeks, but could go longer since there are more than 100 witnesses waiting to be called by either side.
For those charged in any type of criminal case, it will be very important to speak with and hire a criminal defense attorney who completely understands all the issues and complexities that go along with your charges. South Carolina criminal defense attorneys at The Mace Firm spend a significant amount of time in criminal courts throughout the United States. There are criminal defense attorneys all over the country, but few are like those at our firm who practice criminal defense in Charleston, Miami, Myrtle Beach, Pawleys Island, Surfside Beach, Columbia and several other areas.
If you or someone you know is facing federal criminal or state criminal charges, you will need to speak with an experienced Myrtle Beach criminal defense attorney. A South Carolina criminal lawyer at The Mace Firm is ready to speak with you about your case. Call a criminal defense attorney to schedule your free consultation.