Your tip

Oscar Pistorius Murder Trial: Defense Won't Present Runner As First Witness; Experts Weigh In On Strategic Value

//oscar pistorius trail continues pp

Apr. 2 2014, Published 1:05 p.m. ET

Link to FacebookShare to XShare to Email

Oscar Pistorius' attorney Brian Webber said the paralympian won't be the leadoff witness when his murder trial resumes in South Africa next week, has learned.

Webber said prosecutors have given Pistorius, 27, the OK to delay taking the stand in his murder trial, as he stands accused of killing girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp, 29. (South African legal statutes dictate that defendants are traditionally the first witness. unless the court OKs a revised lineup.)

Article continues below advertisement

Instead, Jan Botha, a forensic pathologist, is slated to be the first witness called for the defense.

Expert Roy Black, a venerated defense attorney, said the adjustment makes for a sound strategic gambit for Pistorius and his legal team.

"You always want the defendant testifying at the end, rather than at the beginning," he told ABC News, noting that Pistorius must "convince the court that he did not hear Reeva screaming after he began shooting" for the move to pay off.

Reeva Steenkamp

Watch the video on

ABC US News | ABC Business News

As we previously reported, should Pistorius be convicted of premeditated murder, he could be sentenced up to life with a 25-year minimum sentence. If convicted of murder, he could face up to 15 years in custody. With no jury trials in South Africa, his fate rests in the hands of presiding judge Thokozile Masipa.

In South Africa, where Pistorius had been acknowledged as a sports superstar, the legal proceedings have been dubbed "the trial of the century"-- the same moniker media pundits in the states referred to the O.J. Simpson trial that began 20 years ago.



Opt-out of personalized ads

© Copyright 2024 RADAR ONLINE™️. A DIVISION OF MYSTIFY ENTERTAINMENT NETWORK INC. RADAR ONLINE is a registered trademark. All rights reserved. Registration on or use of this site constitutes acceptance of our Terms of Service, Privacy Policy and Cookies Policy. People may receive compensation for some links to products and services. Offers may be subject to change without notice.