Thu, Feb 21, 2013 - Page 6 News List

Dispute heard before Pistorius shooting: police

BAIL HEARING:A police officer testified about what was found at the athlete’s home after the shooting, while his attorney disputed some of the findings

Bloomberg

Oscar Pistorius, the South African double amputee track star, argued with girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp before shooting her dead and investigators found testosterone and needles at his home, prosecutors said.

Pistorius, 26, lowered his face as lead police investigator Hilton Botha yesterday contested his affidavit that he thought Steenkamp was a burglar when he fired four shots at the toilet on Feb. 14.

Pistorius and Steenkamp, 29, had argued between 2am and 3am, prosecutor Gerrie Nel said in court, citing a witness.

The call for an ambulance was made at 3:20am, defense attorney Barry Roux said.

The testimony was presented to South African magistrate Desmond Nair on a second day of a bail hearing in Pretoria before Pistorius’ trial for premeditated murder.

Botha told the court he found two boxes of testosterone and needles at Pistorius’ home in the city. Roux said it was a herbal remedy used by many athletes.

Pistorius, dubbed the “Blade Runner” because of his prosthetic running blades, faces a maximum term of life in prison if found guilty of the charge, according to Nair.

The prosecution will add a charge of possession of unlicensed ammunition, Nel said, after Botha found .38 caliber ammunition in a safe at his home.

The bullets belong to Pistorius’ father, Roux said.

The lights in the house were on when a witness heard gunshots, followed by screams and another two or three shots, Botha said. The witness was about 600m away and did not identify Pistorius and Steenkamp as those speaking.

Because of the layout of the bathroom, the shots fired could not have hit Steenkamp where she was sitting if he had been shooting through the toilet door as Pistorius testified, Nel said.

“If you walk in directly and fire at the door, you miss the toilet,” Nel said.

Pistorius said in an affidavit read out in court on Tuesday that Steenkamp was doing yoga exercises and he was watching TV on his bed the night before the shooting. In the early hours of the morning, Pistorius went to get a fan on his bedroom balcony and heard a noise in the bathroom. He went to get his 9mm pistol because he thought Steenkamp was in bed and the person was an intruder who entered through an open window.

Walking on his stumps, he shot through the door before realizing it could have been Steenkamp, he said.

The position of the bullet holes indicates Pistorius was shooting in a downward trajectory, suggesting he had already put on his prosthetic limbs, Botha said.

While Pistorius on Tuesday said he had previously been the victim of crime, he had never reported any incidents, Botha said.

Pistorius’ brother and lawyer came to the house after Botha had arrived at 4:15am to get documents and a flash drive containing information of offshore bank accounts, the policeman said.

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