Testimony That Made Pistorius Vomit Released

Expert says he used rare, maximum-damage bullets

By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff

Posted Mar 11, 2014 1:13 AM CDT | Updated Mar 11, 2014 5:00 AM CDT

(Newser) – Oscar Pistorius killed his girlfriend almost instantly with expanding, hollow-point bullets designed to cause maximum damage, a pathologist said yesterday in testimony so graphic it made the athlete vomit. The judge banned live reporting of the expert's testimony, which included detailed autopsy results, but later decided that journalists could summarize it, reports the Globe and Mail. The pathologist told the court that the bullet that hit Reeva Steenkamp in the head caused a catastrophic injury, but the bullet wounds to her hip and arm would also have been hard to survive.

The expert said the bullets used were Winchester Ranger bullets of the kind formerly known as "Black Talons" because they create metal claws as they travel through the body to create maximum injury, reports the Los Angeles Times. They are banned in many countries—and in international warfare—but not in South Africa, though they are rare and Pistorius' lawyers haven't explained why he had them in his possession.

Oscar Pistorius sits in the dock during his trial in Pretoria, South Africa, yesterday.
Oscar Pistorius sits in the dock during his trial in Pretoria, South Africa, yesterday.   (AP Photo/Bongiwe Mchunu, Pool)
With a bucket on the floor nearby, Oscar Pistorius covers his face with his hands a during his trial in Pretoria, South Africa yesterday.
With a bucket on the floor nearby, Oscar Pistorius covers his face with his hands a during his trial in Pretoria, South Africa yesterday.   (AP Photo/Siphiwe Sibeko, Pool)
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