Oscar Pistorius Murder Case - Basic Facts

Oscar Pistorius - Murder Case Details

Maybe Oscar Pistorius murdered his girlfriend or maybe he didn’t. Maybe, as he claims, it was an accident. Maybe he accidentally shot Reeva Steenkamp four times. Trail will determine facts in this case and bring the final judgment.
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Oscar Pistorius is a leading South African runner, who won attention as an athlete with a disability competing at a high level, including multiple Paralympic Games and the 2012 Summer Olympics. His girlfriend was Reeva Steenkamp, a model and television personality.

In the early morning of Thursday, 14 February 2013, on Valentine's Day, Oscar Pistorius, the double-amputee Olympian who is arguably South Africa's biggest sporting star, shot through a bathroom door at his home in Pretoria and killed his girlfriend, 29-year-old model and law school graduate Reeva Steenkamp. 

14 February 2013, Pistorius is arrested and charged with murder after allegedly shooting Steenkamp. According to South Africa’s Afrikaans language newspaper, Die Beeld, the incident happened around 4 a.m. local time. The BBC reports that Steenkamp’s body was removed from the house around 8:30 a.m., with a police spokeswoman confirming that she had been shot in the head and arm. Police found paramedics treating Steenkamp, who died at the scene. Officers recovered a 9 mm pistol.

The bail hearing commenced on 19 February under Chief Magistrate of Pretoria Desmond Nair. During the hearing, both prosecution and defence said that Pistorius had fired four shots through a locked bathroom door, hitting Steenkamp three times inside the bathroom. Prosecutor Gerrie Nel claimed that Pistorius had put on his prosthetic legs, walked across his bedroom to the bathroom, and intentionally shot Steenkamp through the door. Nel argued that the time required for this process was sufficient to establish the alleged murder as premeditated. Pistorius said that he had thought Steenkamp was in the bed, and that the person in the bathroom was an intruder. He also said he had not put on his prosthetics before shooting into the bathroom.

Chief investigating officer Hilton Botha said at the bail hearing that a witness had heard gunshots coming from Pistorius' home and then a female screaming followed by more gunshots; he initially said the witness was 600 metres away, but later said the distance was 300 metres. Botha also said the trajectory of the gunshots indicated that they had been fired downward and directly toward the toilet, seemingly conflicting with Pistorius' statement that he was not wearing his prosthetics at the time. He acknowledged that procedural mistakes had been made during the crime scene investigation and that police had found no evidence inconsistent with the version of events presented by Pistorius, adding later that equally nothing contradicted the police version either.

On 22 February, Botha was removed from the case following revelations that he was facing attempted murder charges stemming from a 2009 incident. Botha was replaced by Vineshkumar Moonoo, described as "the most senior detective" in the South African Police Service.

On the first day of the bail hearing, Magistrate Nair ruled that for the purposes of the bail hearing Pistorius was charged with a Schedule 6 criminal offence, which relates to serious crimes including premeditated murder and requires exceptional circumstances for release on bail. On 22 February, at the conclusion of the four-day bail hearing, Magistrate Nair said that the state had not convinced him that Pistorius posed a flight risk and fixed bail at R1 million (US$113,000). On 4 June the court case was postponed to allow time for further investigation until a hearing at Pretoria Magistrate's Court on 19 August, when Pistorius was formally indicted on two charges of murder and the illegal possession of ammunition.

What Happened Last In The Oscar Pistorius Case?

Pistorius is also facing two additional charges of firing a gun in a public space. The trial was assigned to Judge Thokozile Masipa, who appointed two assessors to assist her.

The trial commenced on 3 March 2014 in the High Court in Pretoria. Pistorius pleaded not guilty to all the charges against him, including murder and several gun-related charges.

This trial, as many call it "trial from Hollywood movie scripts", will give us answer is Oscar Pistorius really guilty.

UPDATE: Oscar Pistorius found not guilty of murdering Reeva Steenkamp.
South African judge says insufficient evidence for murder verdict.

- Oscar Pistorius found guilty of culpable homicide.

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