Prosecution wants Oscar Pistorius to undergo mental evaluation

By Mike Singer | CBSSports.com

The prosecution wants Oscar Pistorius to get a mental evaluation. (USATSI)

One day after a psychiatrist called by Oscar Pistorius's defense team deemed that the runner suffered from anxiety disorder, the prosecution asked that the double amputee runner undergo a mental evaluation.

The psychiatrist asserted that Pistorius's anxiety may have contributed to the 2013 Valentine's Day murder of his girlfriend, Reeva Steenkamp. Since the trial began in March, the Olympian has stressed that he fired four shots into his closed bathroom door thinking that she was an intruder.

Lead prosecutor Gerrie Nel is skeptical of the defense's strategy since blaming Steenkamp's death on a disorder might diminish Pistorius's culpability. It's with this in mind that Nel has requested that Judge Thokozile Masipa order a psychiatric evaluation to disprove the defense's point. It is understood that an adjournment could cause a significant delay in the trial.

Masipa is expected to decide whether to permit the evaluation on Wednesday.

Pistorius's team has played up his vulnerability as a celebrity in trying to show his motives for firing on February 14, 2013.

The psychiatrist, Dr. Merryll Vorster, was only recently included in the list of defense witnesses and the prosecution has subsequently charged that her testimony signals a change in strategy given that the trial didn't appear to be going in the runner's favor.

If convicted, Pistorius could face life in prison.

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