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Oscar Pistorius murder trial placed on hold

- The Washington Times - Friday, March 28, 2014

The murder trial of former Olympian Oscar Pistorius was postponed on Friday, after the judge said her legal assistant had taken ill.

The delay until April 7 comes just as Mr. Pistorius, 27, was due to take the stand in his defense, USA Today reported.

"One of my assessors is not well, so this court is not properly constituted," said Judge Thokozile Masipa, the media outlet reported.

Mr. Pistorius is charged in the 2013 Valentine's Day shooting of his girlfriend, model Reeva Steenkamp. He's maintained he shot her by mistake, thinking she was a home intruder.

He is being tried in South Africa, where he lives. The judicial system there does not include juries; the judge and assistants decide guilt or innocence.

The prosecution just spent 15 days presenting evidence — including accounts and testimony from neighbors and telephone text messages that indicated Mr. Pistorius may have had a volatile relationship with his girlfriend and that she was possibly afraid of him.

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