Mental Health Hearing for Accused White House Shooter Set for Friday

Posted December 14th, 2011 at 5:40 pm (UTC-5)
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A U.S. federal judge has scheduled a hearing to assess the mental capacity of a man charged with firing shots at the White House in an apparent attempt to assassinate President Barack Obama.

The judge Wednesday ordered the December 16 hearing in the case of Oscar Ramiro Ortega-Hernandez to further determine the state of his mental health and ensure he can be held legally liable for his alleged actions.

Officials say that on November 11, Ortega-Ramirez fired shots at the White House. The U.S. Secret Service, which protects the president and other top officials, says two bullets hit the executive mansion, including one that authorities say broke a window but was stopped by a layer of bulletproof glass.

President Obama and his wife, Michelle, were not home during the shooting incident. They were in California before heading to Hawaii, where Mr. Obama hosted an Asia-Pacific economic summit.

If convicted, Ortega-Hernandez could get life in prison.

Ortega-Hernandez was detained in a hotel in Pennsylvania a few days after the shooting incident occurred after someone recognized his picture. Authorities began pursuing him after linking him to an abandoned car found with a weapon in it.