Paralympian runner Oscar Pistorius removed his artificial legs in a Pretoria, South Africa courtroom today as he faced sentencing for the 2013 murder of his girlfriend, Reeva Steenkamp.
Defense attorney Barry Roux asked Pistorius to put on this demonstration to show the accused Olympian’s “vulnerability” to the jury the day he fatally shot his girlfriend on February 14, 2013.
On that February morning, Pistorius — who was not wearing his prosthetic legs at the time — shot his girlfriend because he believed she was an intruder.
The defense wants a lesser sentence than the 15-year minimum for murder in South Africa. Attorneys cite a variety of mental, emotional and physical issues, according to a report from CNN.
“He suffers from an anxiety disorder. We know that uncontested evidence that when he was on his stumps, his balance was seriously compromised, and without anything he won’t be able to defend himself,” Roux said.
The attorney went on to say, “He was anxious, he was frightened. … He was suffering from anxiety disorder, and that’s not gone. This must all be seen in context of his disability.”
Pistorius will be sentenced on July 6.