Skip to main content

Oscar Pistorius defense rests; trial adjourned until August

By Richard Allen Greene, CNN
July 8, 2014 -- Updated 0753 GMT (1553 HKT)
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Closing arguments will begin August 7
  • The athlete is accused of deliberately shooting his girlfriend, Reeva Steenkamp
  • He says he shot Steenkamp accidentally in his bathroom, mistaking her for an intruder

London (CNN) -- The defense in the Oscar Pistorius murder case rested Tuesday, bringing to an end the latest phase of a trial which has lasted longer than the athlete's relationship with Reeva Steenkamp, the girlfriend he killed.

Closing arguments will begin August 7, the judge ordered.

The long delay may be because of the length of time it will take the legal teams on both sides to review the transcript of the case, CNN legal analyst Kelly Phelps said.

Physician: Oscar Pistorius a 'paradox'
Doctors: Pistorius suffers from PTSD
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. 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.
Oscar Pistorius trial
HIDE CAPTION
<<
<
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15
16
17
18
19
20
>
>>
Photos: Oscar Pistorius trial Photos: Oscar Pistorius trial
Pistorius loved Steenkamp, agent says
Exam: Pistorius in right state of mind

It's thought to be as much as 4,000 pages long, covering a case that ran for 39 days between March 3 and July 8.

Pistorius, 27, admits firing the bullets that killed Steenkamp, but he says he mistakenly thought he was defending himself from an intruder. Prosecutors say the two had an argument and he deliberately murdered the model and law school graduate, who was 29.

Following closing arguments, the judge will have to decide whether Pistorius genuinely made a mistake or deliberately murdered his girlfriend.

If Judge Thokozile Masipa does not believe the athlete thought there was an intruder, she will find him guilty of murder and sentence him to a prison term ranging from 15 years to life. South Africa does not have the death penalty.

If Masipa accepts that Pistorius did not know that Steenkamp was the person he was shooting at, she could find him guilty of culpable homicide, a lesser charge than murder, or acquit him, according to Phelps, the CNN legal analyst.

A verdict of culpable homicide would leave the sentence at Masipa's discretion.

READ: 13 things to know as case resumes

READ: Judge sends Pistorius for psychiatric tests

READ: Did Oscar Pistorius have time to think?

Part of complete coverage on
Oscar Pistorius
October 21, 2014 -- Updated 2117 GMT (0517 HKT)
A stuffy, overcrowded cell. Perhaps two or three men to a single bunk. Lockdown for most of the day.
October 21, 2014 -- Updated 0939 GMT (1739 HKT)
He was the so-called "Fastest Man on No Legs," and his inspiring story captured the imagination of the world at the London Olympics.
September 13, 2014 -- Updated 0423 GMT (1223 HKT)
The striking, platinum-haired model was gearing up for her reality television debut.
October 21, 2014 -- Updated 1416 GMT (2216 HKT)
Her name is Thokozile Matilda Masipa, and she is the woman who decided the fate of athlete Oscar Pistorius.
June 3, 2013 -- Updated 1745 GMT (0145 HKT)
Reeva Steenkamp on the beach in Port Elizabeth, South Africa.
Previously unseen photographs of Reeva Steenkamp show the South African beauty just months before her tragic death.
February 16, 2014 -- Updated 1708 GMT (0108 HKT)
The photos of Oscar Pistorius and girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp appear to show a young couple in love.
October 20, 2014 -- Updated 1507 GMT (2307 HKT)
A week before her death, South African model Reeva Steenkamp talked about her secure, blissful environment.
March 3, 2014 -- Updated 0913 GMT (1713 HKT)
He was the first amputee to compete at an able-bodied Olympics. Now, he's being accused of murdering his girlfriend.
September 12, 2014 -- Updated 0831 GMT (1631 HKT)
Judge Masipa has Oscar Pistorius stand up as she reads her verdicts.
September 11, 2014 -- Updated 1518 GMT (2318 HKT)
CNN's Robyn Curnow looks back at some of the key moments in the trial.
October 21, 2014 -- Updated 0907 GMT (1707 HKT)
CNN's Robyn Curnow reflects on her visit to athlete Oscar Pistorius' home, before he was on trial for murder.
June 30, 2014 -- Updated 0744 GMT (1544 HKT)
Take a virtual tour of the athlete's apartment to see what happened.
April 14, 2014 -- Updated 0926 GMT (1726 HKT)
Prosecutor Gerrie Nel is known as the "bull dog" in South Africa's legal circles, and it's easy to see why.
April 10, 2014 -- Updated 1156 GMT (1956 HKT)
As the athlete is grilled in court, Becky Anderson asks psychologist Dr. James Thompson about his state of mind.
ADVERTISEMENT