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17.05.2019 04:44
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PRETORIA, South Africa -- Oscar Pistorius will undergo psychiatric evaluation after the judge ruled at his murder trial Wednesday that his state of mind when he killed his girlfriend should be assessed by experts, possibly delaying court proceedings for two months. The ruling was prompted by testimony by a psychiatrist on behalf of the defence that the double-amputee Olympic athlete has generalized anxiety disorder and that this may have influenced his judgment when he fatally shot Reeva Steenkamp through a toilet door in his home on Feb. 14, 2013. The chief prosecutor, Gerrie Nel, then requested psychiatric testing -- a move opposed by Pistorius chief lawyer. Judge Thokozile Masipa agreed with the prosecutor, saying it was important to independently assess Pistorius state of mind because the defence might now argue that he was not criminally responsible for the shooting because of his anxiety disorder. "The accused may not have raised the issue that he was not criminally responsible at the time of the incident in so many words, but evidence led on his behalf clearly raised the issue and cannot be ignored," the judge said. Pistorius will likely be evaluated by a panel of psychiatrists at a government facility. Pistorius says he shot Steenkamp by mistake in the pre-dawn hours, thinking there was an intruder in his home. His lawyers have regularly pointed to his fear of violent crime and vulnerability as an amputee as central to his account of a mistaken killing. After meeting with Pistorius on two occasions at the beginning of this month, Dr. Merryll Vorster testified this week that he was "hyper-vigilant" and constantly feared being attacked. But legal analysts said the defence teams decision to introduce Vorsters testimony may have backfired. John Welch, former deputy director of South Africas public prosecuting authority, said Pistorius lawyers may have called the psychiatrist to the stand at such a late stage in the trial to "remedy" the athletes own testimony, which has been viewed as unconvincing. But in testifying that Pistorius was anxious, felt vulnerable to crime and may not have intended to kill Steenkamp, Vorster possibly "went too far" in her description of the psychiatric disorder, according to Welch. Pistorius, 27, stood with his hands clasped in front of him in the courtroom as the judge explained her decision. He could be acquitted if the judge rules he was not criminally responsible for Steenkamps shooting because of a mental illness. A mental disorder could also be used by his defence for a lighter sentence in the event of a conviction. The prosecution says Pistorius killed Steenkamp intentionally after an argument. In asking for the psychiatric evaluation, Nel may be trying to remove grounds for appeal by the defence -- on the basis of a psychiatric disorder -- should he be convicted. Judge Masipa said the court would reconvene on Tuesday to decide on details regarding Pistorius period of observation. In South Africa, it is normally for 30 days. Masipa said it would be preferable that Pistorius be evaluated as an outpatient and return home each day after tests. He is free on bail after being charged with premeditated murder. After his tests, the experts who assess Pistorius would take additional time to compile a report and submit it to the court. That could take another month, raising the possibility of a two-month delay in the trial, which started March 3 and is in its eighth week of proceedings. The judge acknowledged that there would be a significant delay, but said it was necessary. "This is not about anyones convenience, but rather about whether justice has been served," Masipa said. Marius du Toit, a defence lawyer not involved in the case but following it closely, said a panel of three psychiatrists would provide the court with a report on Pistorius, and it may also deal with the issue of his fitness to stand trial at all. Despite the defence teams opposition to the psychiatric evaluation, Pistorius uncle, Arnold Pistorius, said outside the courthouse that the ruling reaffirmed the familys confidence in the justice system. "As a family, we are comforted by the thoroughness and detail of this judgment and Judge Masipas commitment, using every avenue, to ensure a fair trial," Arnold Pistorius said in his prepared statement. ------ Imray reported from Stellenbosch, South Africa. Carlos Vela Jersey . Louis Cardinals on Sunday afternoon; a brief, poor outing that served to highlight two trends that have developed this season. 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"Hopefully, we can play more games like we did tonight," he said. Dickey (11-12) gave up two hits in seven innings and the Blue Jays won their third straight as they try to stay in the AL wild-card race. "We hope we heat up," manager John Gibbons said. "August was a lean stretch for us, but thats over with now. We dont want to think about that." Danny Valencia also homered off Rays starter Jeremy Hellickson (1-3). Pinch-hitter Dioner Navarro added a two-run shot off Cesar Ramos in the eighth. Jose Bautistas streak of homering in five straight games ended, but he had two singles and an RBI for Toronto. Dickey gave up two runs, struck out six and walked three. "From a movement standpoint, I had a really good knuckleball tonight, and it was tough to control it," said Dickey, who pitched at least six innings for the 13th time in 14 starts. "I hit a couple batters, balls were really tailing off late in the zone, which speaks to how many balls they put into play hard -- not many, which is good. Outside of that one inning, I felt like I was right on point," he said. The Rays got both of their hits and runs in the second. Yunel Escobar scored the second run on Kevin Kiermaiers sacrifice fly caught by Reyes, the shortstop, in short left field. Aaron Sanchez and Todd Reedmond each pitched an inning of hitless relief.dddddddddddd Reyes, who singled and scored in the third, had his 13th multiple-hit game in his last 29 games. Hellickson gave up five runs on eight hits in 3 1-3 innings, the shortest of his nine starts since coming back from January elbow surgery. "I think it was a matter of locating the ball to some spots that were better suited for the Blue Jays than us," Rays manager Joe Maddon said. A win on Wednesday or Thursday night would give the Blue Jays their first series victory at Tropicana Field since April 6-8, 2007. "I dont think anybodys throwing in the towel," Dickey said. "Who knows what a good September might do for us? If we can finish strong and worry about us, not other people, you never know what can happen." TRAINERS ROOM Blue Jays: INF Brett Lawrie (oblique) was transferred from the 15- to 60-day disabled list, which ends his regular season. ... RHP Brandon Morrow (finger) and 1B Dan Johnson (hamstring) were activated from the disabled list. ... LHP Brett Cecil was unavailable due to some minor stiffness. Rays: CF Desmond Jennings (sore left knee) was out of the lineup for the fifth straight game. UP NEXT Rays RHP Chris Archer (8-7) and Blue Jays RHP Marcus Stroman (8-5) are Wednesday nights scheduled starters. Archer is coming off a loss to Boston Friday where he gave up a season-high eight runs in four innings. 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