on the case
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Former Olympian Oscar Pistorius must complete a month of psychiatric testing — thus putting his murder trial on indefinite hold — the judge in the case ruled Wednesday. The order was prompted by a psychiatrist who testified that the South African sprinter suffers from a "generalized anxiety disorder" that might have affected his actions the night he shot and killed his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp.
Pistorius denied he was mentally incapacitated when he shot Steenkamp last February — he says he mistook her for an intruder — but the psychiatrist's allegation raised questions about the 27-year-old's mental health, the judge said.
CNN's legal analyst Kelly Phelps said the panel of experts who will evaluate Pistorius could push the case in a number of different directions. If they find that he was mentally incapacitated at the time he shot Steenkamp, for instance, he would be found "not guilty" by reason of mental illness, but also sequestered in a mental health facility until he's declared mentally fit again. The experts could also rule that he had "diminished responsibility" at the time of the killing, which would mean his mental state would be taken into account in the case, but not decide it outright.