Oscar Pistorius Trial: The Story Thus Far

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The Reeva Steenkamp murder trial will resume on Monday. Defendant Oscar Pistorius is on trial for fatally shooting her.

If you haven't followed the trial at all or need a refresher then pay close attention.

These are the must-know facts about the case that you probably missed.

Oscar Pistorius Definitely Shot Reeva Steenkamp

Though constantly compared to the O.J. Simpson trial in terms of media sensation and scandal, Simpson claimed to have not committed the violent offense that he was charged with.

This case is completely different; we know that Pistorius fatally shot 29-year-old Steenkamp. The harrowing incident occurred in the early hours of Valentine's Day in 2013.

The question is whether or not it was an intentional killing.

Pistorius Claims To Have Acted In Self-Defense

The 27-year old former Olympian claimed to have been on his stumps at the time of the incident. He also said that he was certain that an intruder had broken into his home.

Feeling vulnerable and in immediate danger, Pistorius said that he opened fire on what he believed to be an intruder in order to protect himself. The defendant said that he didn’t realize what he’d done until it was too late.

Prosecution Claims It Was Intentional

Pistorius’s defense was strongly contested by prosecutors determined to out him as an emotionally manipulative murderer.

Witness testimony for the prosecution paints Pistorius as an impulsive and irresponsible gun owner with a hair-trigger temper. Neighbors also testified to hearing a woman’s screams during the shooting.

It is their intention to demonstrate that Pistorius absolutely meant to kill Steenkamp and is now desperate to avoid punishment.

Is It A Mental Health Issue?

The trial was halted for a period of about 30 days so that Oscar Pistorius could undergo a mental health evaluation.

His defense team wanted to demonstrate the Pistorius suffered from an anxiety disorder that affected his mental state during the incident as well as the trial.

Judge Thokozile Masipa decided that the question of the defendant’s mental state was an important one to answer.

Following a 30 day evaluation at Weskoppies Psychiatric Hospital in Pretoria, South Africa, a panel of mental health experts will share their findings as to Pistorius's mental health.

The results of the month long evaluation could have huge repercussions for Pistorius and shape the trial's outcome.

Image via YouTube

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