(PRETORIA, South Africa) -- Oscar Pistorius will undergo psychiatric testing, Judge Thokozile Masipa ruled Wednesday, a decision that will delay the athlete’s murder trial for more than a month.
As the judge read her ruling, the athlete stood, clenching and unclenching his jaw.
“I think it’s clear Oscar Pistorius has a psychiatric illness,” Masipa said.
Masipa said the court is ill-equipped to evaluate Pistorius’ mental stability, and to understand whether it factored into the Valentine’s Day 2013 shooting of girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp.
The judge will discuss full details on the testing Tuesday, when the order is officially handed down.
Prosecutor Gerrie Nel pushed for the tests after a psychiatrist, Dr. Merryll Vorster, testifying for the defense 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 of premeditated murder in Steenkamp's death. The athlete, known as “Blade Runner” for his prosthetic legs, has said that he believed an intruder had entered his home.
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