Skip to content
Link copied to clipboard

Psychiatrist: Pistorius has anxiety disorder

Doctor testifies in murder trial that events in Oscar Pistorius’ life led to “increasing stress.”

OSCAR PISTORIUS has an anxiety disorder that may have contributed to the fatal shooting of his girlfriend, an expert testified at his murder trial yesterday in Pretoria, South Africa. The chief prosecutor said the double-amputee Olympian should be placed under psychiatric observation.

The judge has not yet ruled on prosecutor Gerrie Nel's application that the court considers a period of mental evaluation for the world-famous runner.

Dr. Merryll Vorster, a psychiatrist called by the defense, testified that a series of events in Pistorius' turbulent life, including the amputation of his lower legs as a baby, his parents' divorce, his late mother's habit of sleeping with a gun under her pillow and his own fear of violent crime contributed to his "increasing stress."

"Overall, Mr. Pistorius appears to be a mistrustful and guarded person," Vorster testified. She said he has "many features of anxiety."

Vorster said Pistorius' anxiety combined with his physical disability may have caused him to act differently from other people when he shot four times through a toilet stall door in the early hours of Feb. 14, 2013, killing girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp. Pistorius, 27, claims he mistook Steenkamp, 29, for a dangerous intruder when he shot her with his licensed 9 mm pistol in the pre-dawn hours. Prosecutors say he killed the model after an argument and shot in anger and not fear last Valentine's Day.

Pistorius' chief lawyer, Barry Roux, said at the start of defense-led testimony that the double amputee's vulnerability and disability was at the center of his case of a mistaken killing. But prosecutor Nel questioned yesterday if Pistorius was merely trying one of a number of defenses for shooting his girlfriend.


* A stampede at a soccer stadium in Congo's capital of Kinshasa killed at least 15 people after angry fans threw rocks from the stands, prompting security officers to fire tear gas that caused crowds to flee in panic, government officials and witnesses said.

* Croatia defender Josip Simunic lost his appeal at sport's highest court, ruling him out of the World Cup for leading fans in a pro-Nazi chant after a game.

* England defender Rio Ferdinand says he is leaving Manchester United after 12 years but wants to continue playing.

* Major League Soccer and U.S. Soccer have signed new broadcast rights deals with ESPN, Fox and Univision. The new contracts are for 8 years, through 2022. NBC is in the final season of a 3-year agreement.


* Oregon State ace Ben Wetzler faces two misdemeanor charges for breaking the window of a Corvallis home, apparently thinking it was his own residence. Corvallis police said Wetzler was intoxicated when he was taken into custody early Saturday morning. He is 9-1 and leads Division I with a 0.94 ERA.

* Quarterback Philip Nelson, who was transferring from Minnesota to Rutgers, was charged with two counts of felony assault after a weekend fight outside a Mankato, Minn., bar that left another man gravely injured. Nelson, 20, kicked Isaac Kolstad in the head while Kolstad was lying on the ground after being struck by another man early Sunday morning, according to a criminal complaint. Kolstad, 24, was in critical condition yesterday with a severe head injury. The complaint said witnesses described Nelson as being upset over attention being paid to his girlfriend.

* Former Virginia tight end Jake McGee has landed at Florida. McGee, who earned his undergraduate degree last month and decided to transfer for graduate school, will be eligible to play for the Gators this fall.

* Mississippi sophomore offensive lineman Austin Golson will transfer to Auburn as a walk-on.

* Tennessee linebacker Jalen Reeves-Maybin was shot in the arm at 2:45 a.m. Sunday at a party in his hometown of Clarksville. School officials say he wasn't seriously injured.

* Cincinnati's annual basketball game between Xavier and Cincinnati will return to campuses starting next season, a return to normal after an on-court brawl put the rivalry in jeopardy. The move is part of a 10-year deal between the schools.

Philly File

* The U.S. women's national basketball team staff will feature three coaches with Philadelphia ties: head coach Geno Auriemma, from Norristown, will be joined by South Carolina's Dawn Staley (Murrell Dobbins Tech) and Minnesota Lynx coach Cheryl Reeve (La Salle). DePaul's Doug Bruno also was named an assistant for the world championship that start Sept. 27 in Istanbul.

Sport Stops

Viktor Tikhonov scored twice and Alex Ovechkin added a goal and two assists as Russia routed the United States 6-1 for its third straight victory at the ice hockey world championships in Minsk, Belarus. In the day's other big matchup, Canada downed the Czech Republic, 4-3.

* A filly is going to challenge the boys in the Preakness for the first time since 2009 when Rachel Alexandra won. Ria Antonia will be ridden Saturday by Calvin Borel, who guided Rachel Alexandra to victory. Ria Antonia is coming off a sixth-place finish in the Kentucky Oaks on May 2 at Churchill Downs, where she has been training.