PRETORIA, South Africa — A neighbor of Oscar Pistorius testified at his murder trial on Monday that she heard gunshots as well as screams from both a man and a woman on the night that the double-amputee runner fatally shot girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp.
Anette Stipp’s testimony matched some of the evidence given by other witnesses earlier in the trial who said they also heard a woman screaming around the time that Pistorius killed Steenkamp before dawn on Feb. 14, 2013.
The defense has countered that the neighbors were actually hearing Pistorius screaming in a high-pitched voice after he shot Steenkamp, a 29-year-old model. Pistorius has said he shot his girlfriend by mistake through a locked toilet door, thinking that she was an intruder in his home.
Chief prosecutor Gerrie Nel opened Monday’s court session by noting evidence will include analysis of cellular telephones, including two that were removed from the bathroom where the shooting happened.
Investigators had been chasing information on Pistorius’ locked iPhone for months and met Apple officials in the United States just before the trial started on March 3. Pistorius has said he forgot the password to his phone.
Stipp, the neighbor, said under questioning from Nel that she heard gunshots while lying awake around 3 a.m. on the night of the shooting, and then heard the “terrified, terrified” screams of a woman. Her bedroom is situated across a grassy area about 70 meters (230 feet) from Pistorius’ home, and the windows of the athlete’s bathroom are visible from her window.
“The screaming at that stage just continued,” said Stipp, who recalled looking out from a balcony at two houses with lights on in the gated estate where her family and Pistorius lived.