PRETORIA, South Africa -- Oscar Pistorius is no psychopath and the likelihood of his re-offending is minimal, according to a clinical psychologist called by the defense today at the athlete’s sentencing hearing in South Africa.
But professor Jonathan Scholtz also said he would hospitalize Pistorius if he were his patient, describing him as a broken man whose depression, anxiety and post-traumatic stress disorder are much worse than in 2014 when he saw the double-amputee during his stay in a psychiatric hospital.
A judge is hearing arguments this week from the defense and prosecution, and is expected to deliver a sentence later this week.
The National Prosecuting Authority has said it wants the South African athlete to spend a minimum of 15 years in prison for killing his girlfriend, Reeva Steenkamp, through a bathroom door at his Pretoria home in February 2013, which Pistorius has said was an accident.
Professor Scholtz, who assessed Pistorius again in May to compile a pre-sentencing report, also told the court today that the Paralympian never again wants to touch a gun in his life and that he sold all his firearms. Pistorius also gets anxious when he hears gunshots, even if it's only on television, Scholtz said.
But prosecutor Gerrie Nel accused Scholtz of being biased in favor of Pistorius.
The hearing, which adjourned for the day, will continue Tuesday when the defense will call a new witness.
Pistorius was initially sent to prison for five years for culpable homicide. He spent a year behind bars in Pretoria before being granted parole and released in October.
Months later, South Africa's Supreme Court of Appeal overturned the culpable homicide conviction, ruling that a lower court did not correctly apply the rule of dolus eventualis, under which the accused may be held accountable for foreseeable consequences of his or her actions.
Pistorius' attempt to overturn the upgraded murder conviction failed earlier this year, necessitating a new sentencing hearing.
The hearing is being presided over by Judge Thokozile Masipa, who is the trial judge who originally convicted Pistorius of culpable homicide.
Prosecutors will push for the maximum sentence. Three witnesses were expected to testify, though it's unlikely Pistorius will be called to the stand again.