One of Oscar Pistorius' neighbors told his murder trial today that she heard a gunshot, then heard a woman screaming, and then a volley of three more shots.
The testimony of Anette Stipp came as the prosecution was close to ending its case against the legless paralympian known as Blade Runner, accused of murdering his model girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp early on Valentine's Day 2013. Pistorius claims that he shot Steenkamp through the bathroom door because he thought she was an intruder.
Stipp, whose husband Dr. Johan Stipp testified earlier during the trial, told the High Court in Pretoria she was not feeling well and woke up due to her coughing when she heard three shots, followed by terrified screams.
"It was not crying. It was screaming, high pitched screaming. It's not just the pitch, it's the whole voice... was definitely female," Stipp testified.
Stipp said she also heard a male screaming join the noise before a second set of three shots were fired.
"The screaming continued up until that second set of shots," Stipp said under cross-examination.
Pistorius's lawyer Kenny Oldwadge said the screaming Stipp heard was actually Pistorius crying, but Stipp remained adamant that it was a woman's voice she heard.
Stipp told the court the screams were so loud and terrified that she thought a family was being murdered in the house.
Pistorius' lawyers have said they will prove that it was Pistorius who made the high pitch screaming sound, arguing that his voice becomes high pitched when he is anxious.
They also submitted that witnesses did not hear gunshots. Instead what they heard was Pistorius slamming a cricket bat against the locked bathroom door to reach Steenkamp after realizing what he had done, his lawyers claim.
In addition, prosecutors claim that four shots were fired, not six.
Pistorius, 27, could get be sentenced to at least 25 years in prison if convicted.
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