Pistorius investigators visit scene of shooting

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FILE In this file photo taken Monday, Aug. 19, 2013 double-amputee Olympian Oscar Pistorius, at the magistrates court in Pretoria, South Africa, when Pistorius was indicted on charges of murder and illegal possession of ammunition for the shooting death of his girlfriend on Valentine's Day. Oscar Pistorius' lawyers are working with a team of American forensic specialists to help prepare the double-amputee Olympian's defense, and likely counter any evidence given by the nearly 50 police officers and criminal experts that prosecutors could call at his murder trial early next year. The U.S. forensic team is now in South Africa, Pistorius' spokeswoman told The Associated Press on Tuesday, Oct. 1, 2013, although she could not give any details of their identities or areas of expertise, or if they would stay for the trial, which begins in March and has been scheduled to last just over two weeks. (AP Photo/Themba Hadebe, File)

JOHANNESBURG (AP) — Forensic experts working for Oscar Pistorius have visited the double-amputee Olympian's upscale villa where he shot and killed his girlfriend, examining the toilet door through which the fatal shots were fired, police said Thursday.

The South African Police Service said in a statement that the specialists made prior arrangements with police to visit the athlete's house Monday in Pretoria, where model and reality TV star Reeva Steenkamp was shot and killed on Feb. 14.

Pistorius goes on trial on Mar. 3 accused of premeditated murder. He was given seven months to put his case together after being indicted on charges of murder and illegal possession of ammunition in August.

The visit suggests that the toilet door will form a key part of the evidence in the trial. The height of the bullet holes in the door and trajectory of the bullets fired by Pistorius could prove whether or not he was wearing his prosthetic legs.

Pistorius says he was not wearing them when he shot in fear at what he thought was a dangerous intruder, but the prosecution says the Olympic and Paralympic runner had taken the time to put them on, suggesting premeditation.

It was the second time investigators acting for Pistorius had visited the scene accompanied by the police's team, the statement said.

Police also said Pistorius' villa in the gated Silverwoods estate in the eastern suburbs of the South African capital was "no longer a crime scene and was handed back to him long ago."

The investigating officer and a police ballistics expert were present while Pistorius' forensic team carried out their work Monday. Police said no other physical evidence was examined.

Pistorius faces a possible life sentence with a minimum of 25 years in prison if he is convicted of murder with premeditation.


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