PRETORIA, South Africa May 20, 2014— -- Oscar Pistorius will begin his court-ordered observation at a state mental institution on May 26, with psychiatric evaluation lasting a month, the judge in his murder trial announced today.
Judge Thokozile Masipa ordered that Pistorius be sent for outpatient evaluation at Weskoppies Psychiatric Hospital in Pretoria, reporting at 9 a.m. on weekdays and staying until 4 p.m., or when dismissed by hospital authorities.
The evaluation will delay the trial until June 30.
The announcement follows testimony by psychiatrist Dr. Merryll Vorster, who told the court that Pistorius suffered from generalized anxiety disorder, a condition that would make him more willing to fight than to flee when faced with what he considered a threat.
Pistorius is accused in the Valentine's Day 2013 shooting death of his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp. Pistorius has said that he mistook her for an intruder.
Pistorius, a South African athlete known as "Blade Runner" for his prosthetic legs, could face at least 25 years in prison if convicted on premeditated murder charges.