Oscar Pistorius
Oscar PistoriusReuters

Reeva Steenkamp might not have been cowering, when Oscar Pistorius shot at her allegedly believing that she was a burglar, the Paralympian's defence team noted on Friday.

Tom "Wollie" Wolmarans, a former police forensics expert and witness for the defence, with the help of a laser beam, demonstrated the bullet path that killed Steenkamp and explained that she wasn't in a defensive position when the shots were fired.

Wolmarans also believe that Steenkamp did not have her hand over her head as was pointed out by the prosecution's police ballistics expert.

"The left hand cannot have been against her head" as there were no wounds and no brain tissue on the inside of her hand, Wolarams said on Friday, according to CNN.

Wolmarans said he believes the model was standing behind the toilet door when the first shots hit her arm and hip. Subsequent bullets hit her on the head while she was falling.

The ballistic evidence is an important aspect of the trial that could determine the direction Pistorius' case would take. Prosecution's Gerrie Nel had argued that Pistorius had an argument with Steenkamp before he shot at her through the closed bathroom door, dismissing the "blade runner's" claims that he acted in self defence when he fired the shots.

Steenkamp's defensive crouch was highlighted to show that she knew Pistorius was out to hurt her. But now that the ballistic evidence has been doubted, it raises the possibility of Steenkamp taken by surprise when the shots were fired.

It remains to be seen in which way the judge, who is assisted by two assessors, would rule. But if Pistorius is found guilty of premeditated murder, he could face life in prison. And, if acquitted he might be charged with culpable homicide, for which the athlete could receive about 15 years behind bars.

The defence hopes to wrap up the case by May 16.