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Oscar Pistorius’ lawyers call reported final witness of murder trial

Jul 2, 2014, 11:42 AM EDT

Oscar Pistorius AP

Oscar Pistorius‘ suicide risk will increase unless he continues to receive mental health care, according to a mental health report read in court at his murder trial Wednesday.

Pistorius suffers from post-traumatic stress disorder and depression, according to a report read by Pistorius’ lawyer Barry Roux.

“Mr. Pistorius has been severely traumatized,” Roux read. “The degree of anxiety and the pressure that is present is significant. … Should he not receive proper clinical care, his condition is likely to worsen and increase the risk of suicide.”

The trial took a break from May 14 until Monday for Pistorius to undergo mental health evaluations that concluded he was not mentally ill when he shot and killed girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp on Valentine’s Day 2013.

Pistorius, the first double amputee to run in the Olympics in 2012, shot four times through a locked door in his Pretoria home bathroom on Valentine’s Day 2013, hitting and killing Steenkamp inside. Pistorius said he thought Steenkamp was an intruder.

He faces 25 years to life in prison if convicted of premeditated murder. If found not guilty of premeditated murder, Pistorius could be convicted of culpable homicide, South Africa’s version of manslaughter for negligent killing.

Also Wednesday, the 2012 South African Paralympic Team chief medical officer testified about Pistorius’ likeliness to “fight” rather than “flight” in the presence of danger given his disability.

The doctor, expected to continue to testify Thursday, was the final witness called by Pistorius’ defense team, according to reports from South Africa. The prosecution wrapped its case March 25.

Last week, one of Pistorius’ lawyers estimated the trial would probably last a couple more weeks. Here’s how The Associated Press described, in May, the expected final timeline of the trial after the final witness is called:

The trial is then expected to break for both sides to prepare closing arguments, which could take as little as a day to present. Then, the judge and her assessors will take however long they need to consider evidence before delivering a verdict.

Here’s NBC News’ coverage of the trial.

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  1. kando53 - Jul 3, 2014 at 3:47 PM

    This is all the guy has a defense strategy?! Unless the SA judicial system is incredibly corrupt Pistorius might as well get used to striped suits, and jail bars, for a very long time.

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