The Associated Press
CASPER, Wyo. (AP) — A man charged with shooting his girlfriend to death has a history of domestic violence.
Bond was set at $500,000 for Rehan Ali Bhutto, 30, of Casper, who is accused of shooting Valerie McCarthy, 25, of Casper, in the head.
She was found dead about 6 a.m. Wednesday in the bedroom of an apartment the two had shared with their 6-year-old daughter in central Casper, authorities said.
McCarthy had been shot at close range, Police Sgt. Mike Moore said.
Bhutto was accused of assault and battery under the Domestic Violence Protection Act against the victim in 1997 but charges were later dismissed after McCarthy denied she had been hurt, documents show.
In October 1998, she filed for a protection order, saying Rehan has been abusive to me ever since 1993 when we first got together. In that document, McCarthy outlined a half-dozen incidents of abuse and said Bhutto had hit her in the face and kicked her.
The protection order lapsed in April 1999, court records show.
That same month, Bhutto was arrested for a domestic violence assault against McCarthy while the couple was estranged, court documents said.
On June 10, 1999, he was ordered to serve six months of unsupervised probation and pay $300 in fines and court costs.
Part of the reason why we take domestic violence so seriously in our training of police officers and when handling it in court is because every domestic violence abusive situation has the potential to be a homicide, District Attorney Pat Meenan said Thursday. We have had other cases in this district, in this county, in this city involving the same kinds of things, where the ultimate tragedy occurs.
The 6-year-old girl was taken into protective custody and released later to relatives.
A date has not been set for Bhuttos next court appearance.
Bhutto, a native of Pakistan who said he has lived in Casper at least 10 years, told police at first that McCarthy had committed suicide, according to court papers.
But during subsequent interviews, he told investigators that he had argued with McCarthy during the night and early morning hours and had shot her, according to the affidavit.
Police believe Bhutto killed McCarthy after the couple had argued the previous night and earlier that morning. He had apparently accused her of sleeping with other men, police said.
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