Themba Hadebe/AFP via Getty Images

A psychologist called by Olympic runner Oscar Pistorius’ defense lawyers at his sentencing called him a “broken man” after he killed his girlfriend, Reeva Steenkamp.

By SI Wire
October 13, 2014

A psychologist at Oscar Pistorius' sentencing called the former Olympic runner a "broken man." The sentencing, which began on Monday, is expected to last one week.

In September, Pistorius was found guilty of culpable homicide in the February 2013 death of his girlfriend, Reeva Steenkamp. Pistorius was originally charged with premeditated murder, but judge Thokozile Msaipa said there wasn't enough evidence to support a murder conviction. Still, Pistorius faces up to 15 years in prison.

During their meetings, Dr. Lore Hartzenberg said that Pistorius cried and felt that he had lost everything after last year's event. Hartzenberg, who says she is an expert in trauma counseling, has been counseling Pistouris since a week after the shooting.

"Some of the sessions were just him weeping and crying and me holding him," Hartzenberg said, according to the Associated Press. "We are left with a broken man who has lost everything.”

Prosecutors say Pistorius shot Steenkamp after they argued, but Pistorius testified that he mistook her for an intruder who was about to attack him.

The sentencing phase allows the defense team to argue for a lighter sentence for Pistorius.

Hartenzburg said that Pistorius has lost his "moral and professional reputation," many of his friends, his career and his financial independence.

"I can confirm his remorse and pain to be genuine," she said.

- Scooby Axson

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