Oscar Pistorius Trial Update: Experts who were evaluating the mental stability of South African sprint runner Oscar Pistorius on the day that he shot and killed his girlfriend have declared that he was not mentally ill at the time of the murder. Pistorius shot Reeva Steenkamp on Valentine's Day 2013.
After a month of evaluation, a panel of mental health experts and doctors have ruled that the 27 year-old Pistorius was capable of knowing the 'wrongfulness' of the shooting which occurred through a bathroom door.
Attorneys for the Olympian and amputee had tried to argue that the athlete suffered from anxiety disorders due to his disability, and was overly paranoid and cautious when it came to his own self-protection. Pistorius' legs were amputated when he was 11 months old. He was born without fibulas in both legs.
The mental health experts have also deemed the sprinter, known as the "blade runner" due to his prosthetics, as mentally capable to stand trial.
Prosecutors argue that Pistorius is egotistical and violent in his personality, and blame his girlfriend's death on a hotheaded reaction to an argument they had had earlier in the day.
Steenkamp was a South African model and reality television show star. She had been dating Pistorius since November 2012.
The results of the evaluation mean that the defense's plan to get Pistorius a not guilty by reason of insanity plea will not be allowed. Prosecutors noted that the report said the athlete was "capable of appreciating the wrongfulness of his act."
If convicted of his girlfriend's murder the athlete faces 25 years to life in prison. The defense has argued that Pistorius mistook Steenkamp for a dangerous intruder in the bathroom of his home. They argue that the shooting was a case of mistaken identity and not a premeditated plot.
Pistorius will face jail time even if the murder is ruled not premeditated on the basis of negligent killing. The trial will resume on Tuesday.