Judge lays down rules for Oscar Pistorius psychiatric tests
May 20, 2014 -- Updated 1157 GMT (1957 HKT)
- Pistorius will undergo mental health observations over the next month
- He will be tested on an outpatient basis and can go home each day
- The evaluations push the trial back until June 30
Pretoria, South Africa (CNN) -- Oscar Pistorius must report for a month-long mental examination starting next Monday, the judge in his murder trial said Tuesday.
But unlike many defendants who have been ordered to psychiatric evaluation, the Olympian will not be committed to a medical facility. Judge Thokozile Masipa said Pistorius must report each weekday starting Monday, but will have evenings and weekends free.
The trial will not resume until June 30, Masipa said.
The testing was triggered by the testimony of a psychiatrist who said that the sprinter has suffered from generalized anxiety disorder since he was an infant, stemming partly from the amputation of both of his lower legs because of a genetic defect.
Oscar Pistorius reaches out to his uncle Arnold Pistorius and other family members as he is led out of court in Pretoria, South Africa, after being sentenced to five years in prison on Tuesday, October 21. Pistorius, the first double-amputee runner to compete in the Olympics, was sentenced for culpable homicide in the February 2013 death of his girlfriend, Reeva Steenkamp.
Photos: Oscar Pistorius trial
Pistorius will undergo mental exams
New twist in Pistorius case
Pistorius, 27, is accused of murdering his girlfriend, model Reeva Steenkamp, in his home last year.
Pistorius has not claimed he was insane or mentally incapacitated when he shot her. But when the defense put a psychiatrist on the stand, it raised the question of the athlete's mental health, the judge said last week.
The expert panel evaluating Pistorius has three options:
1) They could find that Pistorius was mentally incapacitated when he shot Steenkamp, which would end the trial immediately in a verdict of not guilty by reason of mental illness. That would lead to the athlete being committed to a mental institution until he is ruled not to be a danger.
2) The doctors could also find that he had "diminished responsibility" at the time he killed Steenkamp. In that case, the trial would resume, and the experts' finding would be taken into consideration during sentencing if he is found guilty.
3) The third possibility is that the experts could disagree with the defense psychiatrist and say that Pistorius' mental health is not an issue at all.
READ: Is Oscar Pistorius crazy? State wants tests
READ: Oscar Pistorius was 'praying, crying, torn apart' after shooting, witness says
READ: Oscar Pistorius grilled by prosecutor: 'You shot and killed her. Say it'
CNN legal analyst Kelly Phelps and CNN's Richard Allen Greene contributed to this report.
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