It was announced today by a panel of mental health experts that Oscar Pistorius was not mentally ill when he killed Reeva Steenkamp, according to The Irish Times.
The murder trial resumed following a one-month hiatus to have Pistorius’ mental health evaluated. A psychologist and three psychiatrists evaluated him. They analyzed whether or not he was able to understand the wrongfulness of his actions when he shot his girlfriend through a closed bathroom door.
Judge Thokozile Masipa received the reports from the panel. Prosecutor Gerrie Nel spoke about key parts from the conclusions of the reports, saying that the doctors felt Pistorius was “capable of appreciating the wrongfulness of his act” when he killed his girlfriend.
The evaluation of Pistorius was ordered after Dr. Merryll Vorster testified for the defense. Pistorius has said multiple times that he feels vulnerable due to his disability and has always worried about crime. Dr. Vorster testified that Pistorius could have been suffering from a form of anxiety disorder that might have played a role in the killing of Steenkamp on February 14 of last year.
Nel has argued that Pistorius killed his girlfriend following an argument. He has portrayed the Olympic athlete as a hothead who loves guns. Nel requested the independent evaluation of Pistorius due to the concern over the defense arguing he is not guilty due to mental illness.
If convicted, Pistorius could be sentenced to 25 years to life in prison for premeditated murder. He could also face sentencing for multiple years in prison if convicted of murder without premeditation or negligent killing.
Pistorius was evaluated at Weskoppies Psychiatric Hospital in Pretoria, the capital of South Africa.