An Iowa man was convicted Monday in D.C. Superior Court of possessing a firearm near the White House.
RJ “Renae” Kapheim, 43, pleaded guilty to misdemeanor charges of possession of an unregistered firearm and unlawful possession of ammunition after his arrest Wednesday in the 1500 block of Alexander Hamilton Place NW. At the time of his arrest, Kapheim allegedly told police that the president had called him and asked him to come to the White House. Authorities found a rifle with a scope in the car’s back seat, according to court charging documents.
Judge John McCabe ordered Kapheim to remain in the D.C. jail until his Jan. 26 sentencing.
In a separate hearing of another defendant recently charged with having a weapon near the White House, April Debois of Mount Morris, Mich., began sobbing before Magistrate Judge Frederick J. Sullivan ordered her to remain in jail until her next court appearance.
Prosecutors said Debois, 23, was arrested Thursday with a loaded handgun and told officers that people had “the right to defend ourselves” and that she wanted to speak to someone at the Supreme Court. Debois’s public defender, Lula A. Hagos, argued that the gun was not loaded, but that her client had bullets in her pocket. Hagos said her client should be released with a condition to stay away from the White House.
But Sullivan said Debois was a danger to the community and ordered her to remain jailed.
“People have the right to visit the president or call him a dirty name,” Sullivan said. “But when you come around the president with a gun, you have gone over the line, in my opinion.”
Debois’s next hearing is scheduled for Wednesday.