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Witnesses to tell of Pistorius' character at trial

By Gerald Imray

Associated Press

Published: Sunday, Aug. 25 2013 9:03 a.m. MDT

A sports medicine specialist and the head of the South African sports doping laboratory are listed as possible witnesses and may deal with any substances being taken by Pistorius amid initial claims by investigators that they found testosterone in his bedroom. Prosecutors withdrew that claim and Pistorius' representatives identified the substance he was using as a legal herbal remedy called testis compositum. Police haven't yet said what substances they may have found in the Olympian's house or through tests on him.

THE EX-GIRLFRIEND

Ex-girlfriend Samantha Taylor apparently has stories to tell about Pistorius. She was in a car when he fired a gun through the sunroof in anger at being stopped by police at a road checkpoint, according to a South African television channel. Taylor's mother, Trish Taylor, reportedly posted on Facebook soon after the shooting: "I am so glad Sammy is safe and sound and out of the clutches of that man. There were a few occasions when things could have gone wrong with her and his gun during the time they dated."

The comments were later removed and the Taylors have declined to comment. Mother and daughter are both prosecution witnesses. Two other women Pistorius was once involved with also are listed.

CHARACTER WITNESSES

The Taylors, a former professional soccer player and a boxer could testify to Pistorius' character and whether, as prosecutors may hint, he was prone to anger and possibly violence and was reckless with guns.

The former soccer player, Mark Batchelor, has said that a drunken Pistorius once threatened him. The boxer, Kevin Lerena, is believed to have been with Pistorius at a Johannesburg restaurant weeks before the shooting when the athlete shot a gun accidentally under a table. The naming of two men from firearms clubs Pistorius had connections to shows that prosecutors will examine his gun history.

Close friends of Steenkamp and an ex-boyfriend of the model also are named by the state as witnesses.

THE UNKNOWNS

It's not certain what connections a Johannesburg-based cage fighter has to the case. Also intriguing is what testimony may come from Elizabeth de Jager of the South African Weather Service.

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