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Prosecutor: Pistorius should get mental evaluation

Published on NewsOK Modified: May 13, 2014 at 6:23 am •  Published: May 13, 2014
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PRETORIA, South Africa (AP) — The chief prosecutor in the murder trial of Oscar Pistorius on Tuesday asked that the double-amputee runner be placed under psychiatric evaluation after an expert witness testified that he had an anxiety disorder.

Prosecutor Gerrie Nel noted that a psychiatrist for the defense had testified that the disorder she diagnosed in Pistorius may have played a role in his fatal shooting of girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp in his home on Feb. 14, 2013. The prosecutor has acknowledged that an evaluation of Pistorius' state of mind at a government facility could mean the trial, which began March 3, will be delayed.

Judge Thokozile Masipa ordered an adjournment and said she would rule on Nel's request on Wednesday morning.

Nel questioned why the defense decided to ask Dr. Merryll Vorster, a psychiatrist, to testify on behalf of the Olympic runner. He has suggested that the trial is not going well for Pistorius and that his lawyers are floating the idea that a disorder contributed to Steenkamp's shooting and that therefore Pistorius bears less responsibility for her death.

Pistorius says he mistook Steenkamp for an intruder when he shot her through the closed door of a toilet cubicle. Prosecutors say he killed her in anger after an argument.

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