“I see a lot of violent injuries… an overkill in my opinion,” testified pathologist Lemaine Fouche of the Northern Cape health department.
Northern Cape Judge President Frans Kgomo was hearing evidence in the trial of a 17-year-old youth accused of murdering Northern Cape farmer Deon Steenkamp, 44, his wife Christel, 43, and daughter Marthella,14.
They were shot on their farm Naauwhoek, near Griekwastad, on April 6, 2012.
The teenager also faces a charge of raping Marthella Steenkamp and of defeating the ends of justice.
Fouche testified about four gunshot wounds the Steenkamp daughter sustained: one in the chest and three in the head.
There was an entrance wound beside her nose, one gunshot graze wound on her forehead and a wound to the back of her head.
Fouche also testified about various lacerations, bruises and marks on her left arm and hand. In reply to a question by Kgomo, the pathologist said these were defensive wounds.
Fouche also referred to lacerations on the back of the girl’s head.
“She died due to multiple gunshot wounds,” she told the court.
Fouche testified about a reddish chafe mark on the girl’s genitals.
She submitted that the mark indicated “penetration of some sort” and “possibly forced”, although there could be other explanations.
However, in her opinion, the girl was forcefully assaulted sexually and, in legal terms, penetrated.
Prosecutor Hannes Cloete told the court the State’s case would be that Marthella Steenkamp was first shot in the chest outside the house.
Fouche agreed, because grass was found on her bloodied shirt.
Cloete submitted that the State believed the girl ran inside the house and tried to make a phone call, but collapsed at the phone.
“She would not have had any strength left at that stage,” said Fouche.
Fouche told the court the three victims all had head wounds, inflicted just before they died.
The trial continues.