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 (11/26-12/2)
29 photos Launch gallery
1. "You on point Phife?" "all the time,Tip". 💥 #bannedfromnormal
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2. Vegan! The Impossible burger at Crossroads
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3. Lawrence #BeforeandAfterEpisodes 1-4: 184lbs 13% body fatEpisode 8: 196lbs 8% body fat S/O @coachdaveboxing with the works outs and @kildareriordan with the nutrition
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4. Jus haaaanngin out
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5. Meanwhile back at home in Atlanta GA someone mad they not on the 🛳. 😳
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6. No limits... Photo cred: Chris Bridges @ludacris
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7. new new
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8. Apparently my 260lbs is too much for the actual vines in the Hawaiian jungles to hold me without breaking and me falling hundreds of feet. So for safety purposes, I'm forced to swing thru #Jumanjj on wires strong enough to hold 12 adult buffaloes and 1 adult Rock. #OnSet #Jumanji #IronicallyIEatBuffaloDailyForLunch #MoreManThanNatureKnowsWhatToDoWith
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9. hey ma! 🎎#wcw 💙
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10. Surprise visit to our factories!!! #GoodAmerican #USA
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12. Peachy Keen 🔥✨⚡️
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13. If this don't look thankful I don't know what does. Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours. #UltraBlessed #24kMagic #SweetPotatoFly
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14. Late nights @nbcmarlon with the writers... we in here!!!
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15. There goes my baaaaaaaaabbbbyyyyy #QueenKingMagic!!! We're up to something! Ira BIG!!! Stay out our buisness -
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16. You want to win every game you play but when you come home to these faces... who cares. #ILoveYouGirls best part of my day, everyday!
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17. Steady,steady..... full size jenga.. "I got this one "???? Or do I ?
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18. Cornrows kind of day 😉@dontaysavoy2 you convinced me and I love. ❤️️
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19. #BrotherlyLove #tbt
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21. #basel #TeamLOVE @kingcombs
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22. Just introduced a special screening of @directher 's groundbreaking (must see) documentary @13thfilm with my brother @themichaelealy | @unitedblackout #blackoutblackfriday
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23. Me & Vanessa Williams giving #DuckLips #Pose on the set of #DaytimeDivas @vh1 - Coming Soon to a tv near you. Lol. - My make up done by @makeupsurgeon
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24. This picture just makes me wanna praise the Lord, you hear me!!!!!! Yes Lord brotha #TEDDYCAMPBELL What a #man !!! You are everything right on this picture husband ......... #gorgeous #stylish #classy #strong #masculine #king #sexy #debonair #gentlemenstyle And that #bible in your hand just seals the deal for me (probably cause i know that, that is what helped you become just as amazing as you look😘). While my heart and mind experiences the goodness of God at #church on Sundays, my eyes experiences the goodness of Teddy😍. Amen somebody🙌🏽. "Bless the Lord oh my soul and all that is within me bless his holy name" #myman #myhusband #goodman #blackman #dapperman #godlyman #goodfather #mybestfriend
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25. Yesterday was my mama's 53rd birthday!!!!! Got to celebrate with her all day. If this is what I have to look forward to I can't wait. Looking like a soft bucket a cocoa butter. Yaaaaaaaaaas! 😍😍😍 love you mommy!
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26. "Shout out to @PureAtlanta for getting the family right"....I'm loving this jogger. 😍😍
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27. This pic warms my heart ❤️ #myLogiebeans and aunt aunt umba @itowandabraxton 😘
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28. You will always be my baby😜. #HappyBirthdayReginae #mybaby18
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29. GC "Gods Child" Red on Red SweatSuit available now at www.MonicaApparel.com ... Take Your Crown wherever you go!! I'm pictured in a Medium... Go to the site now for other options ... cc: @trukernell
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