Pistorius Will Not Take Stand First, Says Defense

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By Jeff Rossen

The murder trial of Olympic sprinter Oscar Pistorius resumes in Pretoria, South Africa on Monday, but the defense team tells NBC News that despite earlier reports the “Blade Runner” will not be the first witness called for the defense.

After a multi-week presentation by the prosecution the defense opens its case Monday, but instead of calling Pistorius first the defense will call a pathologist to the stand.

The judge and the prosecutors would have to agree with the plan. But sources close to the case tell NBC News that prosecutors will not object.

Pistorius would be called to the stand second. He could begin testifying as early as Monday afternoon. He has said he does not wish to appear on camera.

The trial, which began March 3, has been on hiatus for a week because of the illness of one of the assessors who advises the judge. The prosecutors and the judge are ready to resume Monday if the assessor is well enough to return to work.

Pistorius is charged with murdering his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp early on the morning of Feb. 14, 2013. Pistorius acknowledges that he shot and killed Steenkamp, but says he thought she was an intruder.