Pistorius Trial Gets Its Own Mark Fuhrman in Murder-Accused, Crime Scene-Contaminating Lead Cop

A star athlete is arrested and charged with murdering a woman he dated. The discovery of blood-covered evidence leads to the impression of an open-and-shut case—until one of the investigating police officers is discovered to have contaminated the crime scene, and accused of committing serious offenses himself. Sound familiar? Hilton Botha, the lead investigator in the case against South African sprinter Oscar Pistorius, admitted this week that he'd contaminated the crime scene, acknowledged that police had no evidence to contradict Pistorius' rendition of events, and incorrectly claimed that he'd found boxes of steroids in Pistorius' room. Even more shockingly, it's been revealed that Botha himself is facing seven attempted murder charges over an insane 2009 episode in which he and two other officers drunkenly fired their weapons at a taxi carrying seven people. (At the time, he was apparently "pursuing a man accused of murdering and dismembering a woman before dumping her body parts down a drain.") All three officers involved were arrested in 2011; the charges were dropped, and then reinstated on February 4. There have been reports that Botha will be dropped from the case, but none have been confirmed. Pistorius' bail hearing continued today, interrupted briefly when an unspecified "threat" required the runner and the presiding magistrate to leave the courtroom.

Update: According to the BBC and the AP, Botha will be replaced as lead investigator.

[Gawker | Guardian | Eyewitness News | BBC]