Accused White House Shooter Competent for Trial, Needs Tests, U.S. Says

Accused White House shooter Oscar Ramiro Ortega-Hernandez was found competent to stand trial by the doctor who evaluated him, the U.S. said in a court filing that seeks a more extensive probe of the defendant’s mental health.

U.S. prosecutors said in court papers filed today in Washington that while they didn’t dispute the conclusion of Dr. Elisabeth Teegarden that Ortega-Hernandez would be able to stand trial, they’re seeking a full psychiatric evaluation as it’s likely his mental health will be an issue in the case. Teegarden’s report was based on 50 minutes of screening, prosecutors said.

U.S. Magistrate Judge Alan Kay ordered the initial evaluation of Ortega-Hernandez, 21, at a hearing on Nov. 21. Today, he postponed the defendant’s next court appearance until Dec. 12, ordering that he continue to be held without bail.

Ortega-Hernandez was charged with trying to kill President Barack Obama by allegedly firing a semi-automatic rifle at the White House on Nov. 11.

He drove to Washington with an assault rifle and other weapons after telling people in his home state of Idaho that he “needed” to assassinate the president, according to documents filed in federal court in Washington last week. The attempted assassination charge carries a maximum penalty of life in prison.

The case is U.S. v. Ortega-Hernandez, 11-833, U.S. District Court, District of Columbia (Washington).

To contact the reporter on this story: Fred Strasser in Washington at fstrasser@bloomberg.net.

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Michael Hytha at mhytha@bloomberg.net

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