Judge to Decide If White House Shooter Is Mentally Competent

Judge to Decide If White House Shooter Is Mentally Competent

A federal judge will hear more evidence about the mental health of Oscar Ramiro Ortega-Hernandez on Friday. He is accused of firing shots at the White House on Nov. 11 and is charged with attempting to assassinate President Obama.

Published December 15, 2011

A federal judge on Friday will evaluate the mental health of Oscar Ramiro Ortega-Hernandez, the man accused of attempting to assassinate President Barack Obama by firing shots at the White House in November.

 

Ortega-Hernandez made a separate court appearance in Washington on Wednesday, after which a judge set another hearing for Friday to hear more evidence. A preliminary psychiatric screening found him competent to stand trial, but federal prosecutors are asking for more extensive tests.

 

An Ohio native, Ortega-Hernandez was reported as missing by his family in October. According to court documents and accounts from acquaintances, Ortega-Hernandez said he believed he was Jesus and referred to President Obama as "the devil."

 

Authorities apprehended Ortega-Hernandez at a hotel in Western Pennsylvania on Nov. 16 after they found a gun in the man’s car. Police believe he used an assault rifle to fire shots into a window of the White House on the night of Nov. 11. The president and First Lady Michelle Obama were in California when the gunshots were fired.

 

Ortega-Hernandez has been charged with attempting to assassinate President Obama or a member of his staff. If convicted, he potentially faces a life sentence in prison, the Associated Press reports.

 

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Written by Britt Middleton

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