A federal magistrate judge on Monday ordered alleged White House shooter Oscar Ramiro Ortega-Hernandez to remain jailed throughout the legal proceedings against him after an FBI agent testified about evidence that Ortega-Hernandez wanted to kill President Obama.
At a preliminary hearing in U.S. District Court in Washington, Magistrate Judge John M. Facciola rejected a defense argument that the prosecution’s evidence against Ortega-Hernandez is insufficient to warrant a charge of attempting to assassinate the president. Facciola declined to dismiss the charge.
Ortega-Hernandez, 21, of Idaho Falls, Idaho, allegedly fired a volley of rifle shots at the White House from a distance of about 750 yards on the night of Nov. 11. FBI Agent Michael Pinto testified Monday that authorities have found five bullet “impact points” on the outside of the residential floors on the south side of the executive mansion.
Pinto said two spent bullets and part of another have been found on the White House grounds, including one lodged in a window frame on the Truman Balcony. Ballistics tests concluded that they were fired from a semiautomatic rifle found in Ortega-Hernandez’s car, Pinto testified.
Even though the president was in San Diego at the time of the incident, Ortega-Hernandez has been charged with attempting to assassinate the president, punishable by up to life in prison upon conviction.
Most of what Pinto testified about already has been made public by prosecutors in court filings. Ortega-Hernandez, who has described himself as a modern-day Jesus, allegedly told several Idaho acquaintances about bizarre government plots against citizens and said that Obama should be killed because he is “the devil.”