Larry Bodine Discusses Oscar Pistorius Case [WIND - Radio]
Lawyers.com Editor-in-Chief Larry Bodine was interviewed on WIND AM (560) radio in Chicago. He discusses the indictment of double amputee South African Olympic runner, Oscar Pistorius, for the murder of his girlfriend, Reeva Steenkamp. On Valentine’s Day, Pistorius shot Steenkamp at about 3:00 a.m., while she was in the bathroom at his apartment in Pretoria. He claims that he thought she was an intruder.
Pistorius will stand trial before a judge in South Africa in March 2014. Pistorius, 26, is often called “The Blade Runner.” He has achieved worldwide recognition, having won medals in the Paralympics and competing in the Olympics for able-bodied athletes. Steenkamp, a 29-year-old famous model, also had a law degree.
According to his affidavit, Pistorius woke up in the middle of the night and went out to the balcony to bring in a fan. When he re-entered the apartment he heard someone in the bathroom and was overcome with terror. He saw the bathroom window was open. The toilet area had a separate door, which was closed. Pistorius took out his 9 mm gun and started shooting through that door, yelling for his girlfriend to call the police.
Police say they have more than 100 witnesses lined up to testify. One witness claims he heard the couple arguing earlier that evening from 300 yards away. Steenkamp had reportedly also that night called her mother, telling her that she and Pistorius had been fighting.
Larry explains how South Africa follows the British judicial system. The judge will look at Pistorius’s state of mind, when firing the gun. For a murder conviction, the prosecution must show he had the intent to kill. Otherwise, the judge could come back with a lesser conviction of culpable homicide, comparable to manslaughter in the U.S. system. Homicide means the defendant did not mean to kill the victim or it was an accident.
Currently, Pistorius is free on what amounts to a $110,000 bond in U.S. dollars. The government has taken his passport.
Larry reviews some of the main points the prosecution will most likely delve into, in presenting its case. As cameras are allowed into the courtroom in South Africa, he predicts the trial will receive worldwide attention.
To listen to the full interview, click here.