Pistorius to undergo psychiatric evaluation

 

The Sports Network

Pretoria, South Africa (SportsNetwork.com) - Oscar Pistorius will be required to undergo a psychiatric evaluation that will again delay the South African sprinter's murder trial.

Pistorius has been charged with murder in the shooting death of his girlfriend, Reeva Steenkamp.

Steenkamp was killed by Pistorius on Feb. 14, 2013 in the bathroom of his home. He has maintained the shooting was an accident, believing he was firing into the bathroom at an intruder. The prosecution has countered that he knew Steenkamp was in the bathroom in a premeditated murder.

On Monday, defense witness Dr. Meryll Vorster testified that Pistorius has a general anxiety disorder that likely caused his reaction to fire a gun instead of run away from a potential intruder on the day of the shooting.

Lead prosecutor Gerrie Nel then asked Judge Thokozile Masipa to have Pistorius further examined, with the request granted on Wednesday.

The psychiatric evaluation could take upwards of a month and delay the trial until the end of June.

Pistorius' trial began March 3 and is being broadcast throughout South Africa and other parts of the world. It was delayed for about two weeks in late April and early May.

Judge Masipa will decide guilt or innocence in the trial, since South Africa does not have trial by jury.

In addition to the murder charge, Pistorius also faces charges of contravening South Africa's Firearms Control Act.

The murder charge could carry a sentence of life in prison. There is no death penalty in South Africa.

Steenkamp, who was 29 years old, was a model and reality television star in South Africa.

Pistorius, known as the "Blade Runner," made history at the London Olympics in 2012 when he became the first double-amputee runner to compete in the Games. He had both legs amputated before he was a year old after being born without fibula bones and runs on prosthetic blades.

The International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) had initially said that his prosthetics were considered technical aids and in violation of an IAAF rule. But the Court of Arbitration for Sport later overturned that decision, making him eligible to compete against able-bodied runners.

Pistorius qualified for South Africa's Olympic team in 2012 and competed in the 400-meter race, reaching the semifinals, and the 1,600-meter relay.

Read more Olympics stories from the Miami Herald

  • Italy bobsledder Frullani could face 1-year ban

    Italian sport's anti-doping office has asked for bobsledder William Frullani to be banned for a year after failing a doping test at the Sochi Olympics.

  • Cho to lead 2018 Olympics organizing committee

    Cho Yang-ho, the South Korean business tycoon who led Pyeongchang's successful bid to host the 2018 Winter Olympics, will take charge of the local organizing committee following the sudden resignation of the previous president.

  •  
Tokyo Gov. Yoichi Masuzoe speaks during a press conference at the Foreign Correspondents' Club of Japan in Tokyo Wednesday, July 30, 2014. Masuzoe has defended his call for a review of the venue plan for the Tokyo 2020 Olympics, even if it threatens the proposal of having almost all the facilities close to the Athlete's Village. Tokyo won the right to host the 2020 Olympics with a promise to deliver a compact games with 28 of the proposed 33 competition venues within 5 miles (8 kilometers) of the village.

    Tokyo governor defends venue relocation plans

    Tokyo Governor Yoichi Masuzoe on Wednesday defended his call to cut costs by relocating some venues for the 2020 Olympics, even if it threatens plans for having almost all the facilities close to the athletes village.

Miami Herald

Join the
Discussion

The Miami Herald is pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news. Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere on the site or in the newspaper. We encourage lively, open debate on the issues of the day, and ask that you refrain from profanity, hate speech, personal comments and remarks that are off point. Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.

The Miami Herald uses Facebook's commenting system. You need to log in with a Facebook account in order to comment. If you have questions about commenting with your Facebook account, click here.

Have a news tip? You can send it anonymously. Click here to send us your tip - or - consider joining the Public Insight Network and become a source for The Miami Herald and el Nuevo Herald.

Hide Comments

This affects comments on all stories.

Cancel OK

  • Marketplace

Today's Circulars

  • Quick Job Search

Enter Keyword(s) Enter City Select a State Select a Category