Pistorius Trial Day Three: Trigger-Happy Athlete Responsible for a Restaurant Shooting, Says Fourth Witness

A witness at the murder trial of Oscar Pistorius has said the South African athlete was responsible for a weapon being fired at a restaurant last year.

A professional boxer Kevin Lerena told the Pretoria court that Mr Pistorius had asked the owner of the gun to take the blame.

The incident happened the month before Mr Pistorius shot dead his 29-year-old girlfriend, Reeva Steenkamp.

Lerena testified that he had been to Tasha’s Restaurant in Johannesburg with Mr Pistorius and two other people, including Darren Fresco, in January 2013.

Mr Fresco had passed his firearm to Mr Pistorius and said “I’m one up”, meaning there was a bullet in the chamber of the gun, Mr Lerena said.

Oscar Pistorius Trial at a Pretoria Court Reaches Day Three. Image: AP.
Oscar Pistorius Trial at a Pretoria Court Reaches Day Three. Image: AP.

When the firearm was handed over, there was a shot followed by “complete silence”, the boxer added.

“I looked down, and where my foot was there was a hole in the floor,” he told the court. “I had a little graze on my toe, but I wasn’t hurt.”

Mr Pistorius had apologised and asked Mr Fresco to take the blame, which he had agreed to do, Mr Lerena said.

“Please, I don’t want any attention around me. Just say it was you,” he (Pistorius) pleaded, according to Mr Lerena.

During his cross-examination of Mr Lerena, defence lawyer Barry Roux said Mr Pistorius had told him that he did not hear the warning about the loaded bullet as the gun was passed under the table and was checking the chamber when it was accidentally fired.

The 27-year-old double amputee denies intentionally killing her girlfriend, saying he mistook her for an intruder.

He also denies charges of illegally possessing ammunition.

Steenkamp, a model and reality TV star, was shot dead in the early hours of Valentine’s Day last year at Mr Pistorius’s home in the capital, Pretoria.

The arrest of a national sporting hero, who won gold at the London 2012 Paralympic Games and also competed at the Olympics, astounded South Africa.

Source: BBC



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