Pistorius Trial Suspended
Judge's aide taken ill before defense case begins
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 28, 2014 3:23 AM CDT
Oscar Pistorius cries as he listens to cross questioning earlier this month about the events surrounding the shooting death of his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp.   (AP Photo/Bongiwe Mchunu, Pool, File)

(Newser) – Oscar Pistorius had been expected to take the stand in his murder trial today, but the beginning of the defense case has now been delayed until next month. Judge Thokozile Masipa says one of two legal experts helping her with the case is sick and the trial has been suspended until April 7, reports the AP. The athlete's defense lawyers had been set to begin their case today after four weeks of testimony from the prosecution.

Pistorius is not legally obliged to testify, but he was expected to take the stand today as the only witness to girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp's death, the BBC notes. He says he shot her after mistaking her for an intruder. When the trial resumes, the defense is expected to address key issues including his alleged past carelessness with firearms and why he failed to check on his girlfriend's whereabouts when he believed there was an intruder in the house.
 

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