Washington: A man accused of firing shots at
the White House in November has been formally charged with
attempting to assassinate US President Barack Obama, according
to an indictment unsealed today.
A preliminary psychiatric evaluation in December found
Oscar Ortega-Hernandez, 21, competent to stand trial, but
federal prosecutors are asking for more extensive tests to
ensure he can be held legally liable.
"On or about November 11, 2011, in the District of
Columbia, the defendant, Oscar Ortega-Hernandez, did knowingly
attempt to kill the President of the United States, Barack
Obama," the indictment said.
The federal grand jury in the District of Columbia
returned a 17-count indictment today against the suspect, who
has been in custody since his arrest on November 16.
In addition to the attempted assassination charge,
Ortega-Hernandez of Idaho Falls, Idaho, was charged with
assaulting federal officers with a deadly weapon, injuring
property of the United States, and related firearms charges.
Ortega-Hernandez was arrested near Pennsylvania`s border
with Indiana, some 300 miles (480 kilometers) from the US
Authorities had located an abandoned vehicle in
registered to him containing a semi-automatic assault rifle
"with a large scope mounted on the top portion of the weapon,"
along with ammunition and nine spent shell casings.
He is accused of taking several shots at the residential
area of the White House, at least one of which struck the
mansion. He faces life in prison if convicted.(AFP)