Defense team for Oscar Pistorius closes case

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After 39 days in court, the team defending Oscar Pistorius against charges he murdered his girlfriend, Reeva Steenkamp, have finished calling witnesses. Pistorius’ lawyers have argued that the double amputee and 2012 Olympian thought Steenkamp was an intruder when he shot through a locked door in his South Africa home bathroom on Valentine’s Day 2013.

The trial will adjourn until August 7-8, when final arguments for both the defense and prosecuting teams are scheduled.

Lawyer Barry Roux said “there’s nothing that we can do” about witnesses who did not want to testify due to the intensely public nature of the case, according to the AP. Roux chose not to ask the judge to compel unwilling witnesses to testify.

After closing arguments are presented, Judge Thokozile Masipa will pass a verdict on whether Pistorius is guilty of premeditated murder. Pistorius could also be convicted of culpable homicide, South Africa’s version of manslaughter for negligent killing.

He could face a prison sentence of 25 years to life. South Africa does not have the death penalty.

Here’s NBC News’ coverage of the trial.

 

 

 

Decker scores twice, U.S. women’s hockey team beats Canada 5-2

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QUEBEC CITY (AP) — Brianna Decker scored twice to help the U.S. women’s hockey team open its pre-Olympic exhibition schedule with a 5-2 victory over Canada on Sunday.

Hilary Knight, Annie Pankowski and Alex Carpenter also scored for the Americans.

Meghan Agosta and Jillian Saulnier scored for Canada.

The teams will meet again Wednesday night in Boston. Canada has won four straight Olympic titles, and the U.S. has claimed seven of the last eight world championships.

World downhill champion Ilka Stuhec tears ACL

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Lindsey Vonn’s top rival for downhill gold is in danger of missing the upcoming Olympics.

Ilka Stuhec, a world champion Alpine skier from Slovenia, suffered a torn ACL after a practice crash in Austria this weekend.

Stuhec had become a strong medal favorite for PyeongChang after winning FIS World Cup titles in downhill and Alpine combined last season. She also won a gold medal in downhill at the 2017 World Championships, where Vonn placed third.

According to a post on the FIS website, surgery is set for this Wednesday, with more information to come after that. But preliminary reports suggest that she is likely to miss the Olympics.

“For now it looks like Ilka Stuhec will have to miss a large part or maybe the whole World Cup season, including the Winter Olympic Games in South Korea,” a spokesperson for Struhec told Reuters.

In a tweet, Struhec acknowledged that she would be sidelined “for a few months.”

The Olympics start in less than four months.