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Judge orders Oscar Pistorius to undergo psychiatric tests, trial delayed

Oscar Pistorius (Gianluigi Guercia/Getty Images) Oscar Pistorius' trial is delayed until he undergoes psychiatric tests. (Gianluigi Guercia/Getty Images)

A judge ordered Oscar Pistorius to undergo psychiatric tests, meaning his murder trial will be delayed for up to two months, reports the Associated Press.

An expert witness for the defense said that Pistorius has had an anxiety disorder since childhood and that may have influenced his judgment the night he shot and killed his girlfriend, Reeva Steenkamp. Therefore, the prosecutor said he had no option but to ask for the tests.

Pistorius has said he shot Steenkamp by mistake on Feb. 14, 2013, when he thought an intruder was in his home. The prosecution says Pistorius killed Steenkamp intentionally after an argument and that an anxiety disorder didn't play any role in the incident. The judge said that the court will meet next Tuesday to provide more details on the length of Pistorius' period of observation, in which Pistorius will be mentally evaluated.

More from the AP:

Pistorius will likely now be evaluated by a panel of psychiatrists for a period of 30 days at a government facility, although Masipa said it would be preferable that he be an outpatient and return home each day after tests. The Olympian is free on bail after being charged with premeditated murder for Steenkamp's shooting death last year. Masipa noted that having Pistorius evaluated as an outpatient would be preferable as the referral was not meant to punish him. She acknowledged that there would be a significant delay.

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