The top police investigator on the murder case against Oscar Pistorius has been replaced following the revelation he is facing 7 counts of attempted murder in connection with an October 2011 shooting. Hilton Botha will be removed from the case after Pistorius’ bail hearings end. National police commissioner Riah Phiyega says “top detective” Lt. Gen. Vinesh Moonoo will take Botha’s place.
Botha, who took the stand in court this week to reveal details about how Pistorius killed his model girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp, must appear in court in May to face the attempted murder charges. He and two other officers are accused of opening fire on a minivan they were trying to pull over. Botha was allegedly intoxicated at the time. It is unclear if any of the 7 passengers inside were wounded.
The murder charges against Pistorius, 26, were upgraded this week to premeditated murder after prosecutors claimed the Olympian purposely shot Steenkamp when she locked herself in the bathroom following a heated argument. Pistorius rejected the accusations and insisted he shot Steenkamp through the bathroom door because he believed she was a burglar.
"I believed someone had entered my house. I was too scared to switch a light on. I grabbed my 9mm pistol from underneath my bed,” he explained.
Pistorius said he soon realized it was Steenkamp he shot. "I returned to the bathroom and picked Reeva up as I had been told not to wait for the paramedics, but to take her to the hospital. I carried her downstairs in order to take her to the hospital. On my way down ... a doctor who lives in the complex also arrived. Downstairs, I tried to render the assistance to Reeva that I could, but she died in my arms."
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