PRETORIA, South Africa (AP) — Oscar Pistorius will start a period of psychiatric evaluation at a state institution next week, the judge at his murder trial ruled on Tuesday as she postponed court proceedings until June 30.
Judge Thokozile Masipa took just a few minutes to read out her ruling that the double-amputee Olympian must present himself at 9 a.m. on Monday and every weekday after that at the Weskoppies Psychiatric Hospital in Pretoria.
Pistorius will be treated as an outpatient, Masipa ruled, and will be allowed to leave the facility in the South African capital each day at 4 p.m. or when “formally excused” by hospital authorities. His period of evaluation will be for no more than 30 days, the judge said, and will depend on how long a panel of four mental health experts needs to compile a report for the court.
Pistorius, who is charged with premeditated murder for fatally shooting his girlfriend last year, stood in the Pretoria courtroom with his hands crossed in front of him and looked at the judge as she explained her decision.
A psychiatrist called by Pistorius’ defense lawyers testified at the murder trial last week that she believed the runner had an anxiety disorder from childhood which may have contributed to him killing Reeva Steenkamp last year. That prompted the chief prosecutor to apply that he be sent for psychiatric tests.
Masipa said Tuesday that the panel of psychiatrists and psychologists would now determine whether any mental illness may have affected Pistorius’ capacity to be “criminally responsible” for killing Steenkamp. She said the panel would evaluate “whether he was capable of appreciating the wrongfulness of his act or of acting in accordance with an appreciation of the wrongfulness of his act.”
Pistorius, 27, claims he shot Steenkamp, 29, by mistake through a toilet stall door in the pre-dawn hours of Feb. 14, 2013, thinking she was an intruder. Defense witness Dr. Merryll Vorster, the psychiatrist, testified that Pistorius had generalized anxiety disorder and his apparent fear of violent crime and his vulnerability as an amputee may have contributed to the killing.
Prosecutor Gerrie Nel then asked the court to send him for mental evaluation to establish if he had a genuine disorder that could have affected his actions when he shot Steenkamp multiple times through the toilet door with his 9 mm pistol.
Pistorius could be acquitted on the grounds of mental illness. It could also be used by his defense team to argue for a lighter sentence if he is convicted of murder. The world-famous disabled athlete faces 25 years to life in prison if found guilty on the premeditated murder charge.
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(Photo Source: AP)
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This Week’s Celebrity Instagrams (6/18-6/24)
25 photos Launch gallery
1. Me & the homie @jaleelwhite #RujohnFoundation Happy to be in Jamaica! Good times
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5. Good Morning. Early day in Detroit! Making press rounds for @thebossnetwork's Ladies That Lead Tour. Thank you @traycemadre and @colourbynumbr for my glam.
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6. POWER the best show on TV @djenvy, Queens we so big out here. #EFFENVODKA #FRIGO
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7. They said u lost a step, wasn't explosive as once was, the best days was in the real view, questioned your drive, your leadership, your commitment, you don't have killer instinct, going back home is the worst mistake in your career, he got the coach fired, players traded, won't work between him and Kyrie, Him and Kev won't work, love your teammates to much, there's no way he can deliver a championship in his hometown, etc etc etc.... But guess what THATS NONE OF MY BUSINESS #StriveForGreatness #ThisOneIsForTheLand #PutSomeRespeckOnMyName Hahahaha!!! Yes sir
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8. Oooooh weeee this man right here is responsible for at least three of our four babies!! #JOE ❤❤❤🎤 #rnb #king #voicelikebutter #ForPeetesSake
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9. Hanging with my @abcnetwork family! @abcunclebuck tonite y'all check us out ! @anthonyanderson @traceeellisross
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10. My broski ( @sayeedshahidi ) and I are on Top 5 Live on @go90 at 5 (which is super duper close)! Make sure to tune in :) #UncleBuck #Blackish
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11. Lights out💤 #GoodNight
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12. Late nights mornings
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13. Ran into the lovely talented @siedahgarrett on this brutiful favvuz deh!
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14. #halal #love #thedargans #kattwilliamsSHOW #mashallah when that Jennah piece HIT!! @sweetjennahcollection glasses by @baddieglamaccessories LIZ 😍 @dynamiteko top @dazzledmv and jeans @thevision414 and shoes: @louboutinworld
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15. Big Hair and Optical Illusions #OceanDrive #MiamiLiving #coverparty
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16. MAMA and THE SAVAGES ... ⚓️ #supportyourlocalgirlgang
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17. From the bottom of my ❤️, thank you new followers & old! & hello fellow night owls! #grateful #racheltrue #naturalhair #curlyhair #curlygirl #healthyhair
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18. I feel so grateful because I met these amazing young minds, visiting from Houston TX, during their college tour stop today at #usc.These students are ALL extraordinary and embody academic excellence so I'm humbled to have shared a few moments with them to applaud and celebrate their bright futures ahead! Thank you @EmergeFellows for inviting me to speak and blessing me with your love and attention this afternoon!
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19. Happy Fathers Day Pops. U taught me how to be a man. Lessons of love, hard work & gratefulness. Sorry the fishing didn't stick. LOL. I Love U!
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20. Sky Zone and Ice Cream! Best Fathers Day Ever!! Photo credit @mariahcarey
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21. Look what finally came in the mail 😎 #mtvmovieawards2016 💥+🌽! #straightouttacompton
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22. Claudia Jordan: ....
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23. 'Member that time I almost knocked a bajillion dollar camera off the car? Really? Yeah, me neither! #Greenleaf Episode 2 comin atcha!
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24. Full of love. #birthday #Cabo
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25. Oh hey! Look who just joined Snapchat
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