White House Shooter Fit to Stand Trial

Alleged White House shooter Oscar Ortega-Hernandez has been determined to be competent to stand trial, but will undergo further psychiatric testing and evaluation.

Ortega-Hernandez was declared to be competent to stand trial by court-appointed psychiatrist Dr. Elisabeth Teegarden.

The 21-year-old Idaho man is charged with attempting to try to assassinate President Obama for allegedly shooting at the White House on Friday, Nov. 11, 2011. He was arrested five days later in western Pennsylvania, after he allegedly fled from the Washington area.

When asked in court today whether he understood the proceedings, Ortega-Hernandez said: “Yes, sir.”

The U.S. Attorney’s Office is asking for further review, because Teegarden’s assessment was based on only 50 minutes of screening, according to a motion prosecutors filed this afternoon.

“Although the government does not dispute that conclusion, the government notes that it was based only on a 50-minute screening and submits that a full psychiatric or psychological screening…given the serious nature of the criminal charges pending against the defendant and the likelihood that mental health issues may arise in the course of these proceedings,” prosecutors said in the filing.

Ortega-Hernandez, who is being held without bond, is scheduled to be back in court Dec. 12, after the additional screening, and prosecutors may have an indictment in the case by then. Ortega-Hernandez has only been charged in a criminal complaint.

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