Friday hearing scheduled for White House shooting suspect Ortega-Hernandez


Oscar Ortega-Hernandez (Courtesy Photo/U.S. Park Police)

A federal judge has scheduled a hearing for Friday on whether to order a comprehensive mental evaluation for Oscar Ramiro Ortega-Hernandez, the Idaho man who allegedly fired rifle shots at the White House last month because he wanted to kill President Obama.

A prosecutor argued Wednesday that the exam is needed to determine whether Ortega-Hernandez, 21, is mentally competent to participate in legal proceedings.

Defense lawyers contend that no such evaluation is necessary because their client is lucid and able to communicate with them intelligently.

Magistrate Judge John M. Facciola scheduled a hearing on the issue for 9:30 a.m. Friday in U.S. District Court in Washington.

Ortega-Hernandez, who has described himself as the second coming of Jesus and allegedly considered Obama to be “the anti-Christ,” is accused of firing multiple rifle shots at the White House from about 750 yards away on the night of Nov. 11.

Several bullets hit the outside of the residential floors on the mansion’s south side, authorities said.

Even though Obama 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.

WATCH: Ortega-Hernandez’s video pitch to Oprah

This item has been updated.

Paul Duggan covers the Metro system and transportation issues for The Washington Post.

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