PRETORIA, South Africa May 26, 2014 -- Oscar Pistorius reported to Weskoppies Psychiatric Hospital in Pretoria, South Africa, today for the start of his court-ordered psychiatric evaluation.
Pistorius is accused of killing his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp during an argument at his home on Valentine’s Day 2013. He admits to firing four shots through a bathroom door but says he mistook Steenkamp for an intruder.
Earlier this month, defense witness Dr. Merryll Vorster, a forensic psychiatrist, testified that the athlete suffers from generalized anxiety disorder, which may have had an impact on his actions when he shot Steenkamp –- prompting Prosecutor Gerrie Nel to contend that Pistorius be sent for mental observation.
In granting the application, Judge Thokozile Masipa said she realizes the 30-day observation period will cause further delays in the trial, but that it wasn't about anybody's convenience, it was about serving the interest of justice.
Pistorius will be assessed as an outpatient, meaning he will be able to go home each day and won’t have to spend weekends in the facility.
When Pistorius appeared for today’s observation, several journalists and cameramen were waiting, all keen to capture the athlete –- known as “Blade Runner” for his prosthetic legs –- entering the psychiatric facility.
The trial is set to resume on June 30.