PRETORIA , South Africa, July 8 (UPI) -- Oscar Pistorius' defense team rested its case Tuesday in Pretoria, South Africa, beginning the phases of presentation of legal statements and closing arguments in his murder trial.
Pistorius, a South African celebrity and a double amputee globally famous as an Olympic runner, is accused of fatally shooting his girlfriend Reva Steenkamp, in 2013. He admitted the shooting but claimed in wrenching court testimony he mistook her for an intruder.
He also faces charges relating to illegal handling of guns and ammunition.
The prosecution has until July 30 to present written legal arguments, the defense until Aug. 4, and court will resume Aug. 7 for closing oral arguments. If convicted of murder, Pistorius could receive a life sentence; a lesser conviction of culpable homicide is also possible, its penalty left to the discretion of the court.