Omar J. Gonzalez, the Army veteran who allegedly jumped the White House fence in September and ran into the executive mansion, has been found competent to stand trial for the intrusion.
“We believed that he was competent,” his attorney, David Walker Bos, said during a status conference Thursday afternoon.
Bos also entered not guilty pleas for Gonzalez, 42, to charges added since his initial indictment, including two federal counts of assaulting an officer and a D.C. count of unlawful possession of a large-capacity ammunition feeding device.
Gonzalez, who served more than 13 years in the military, including in Iraq, was first indicted Sept. 30 on a federal count of entering a restricted building while carrying a dangerous weapon and two D.C. charges: carrying a dangerous weapon outside a home or business and unlawful possession of ammunition.
A federal grand jury returned the second indictment Oct. 16.
U.S. District Judge Rosemary M. Collyer ordered a mental health evaluation for Gonzalez during an Oct. 21 arraignment for the additional charges. The ruling came after Bos argued that a screening evaluation, which found Gonzalez incompetent to stand trial, had been performed without the defense attorney’s knowledge.
Authorities say Gonzalez scaled the north fence of the White House and ran into the mansion about 7:20 p.m. Sept. 19. They say he entered the mansion through an unlocked door, assaulted two Secret Service officers and ran through several rooms before being apprehended.
A folding knife was found in Gonzalez’s pocket, authorities say. In his vehicle, police say, they found hundreds of rounds of ammunition, in magazines and boxes, a machete and two hatchets.
Gonzalez was indicted on charges of eluding police and possessing a sawed-off shotgun, a felony, after a July 19 arrest in Wythe County, Va.
Authorities said in addition to the shotgun, he had two sniper rifles, several other firearms and a map of the Washington area with the Masonic Temple in Alexandria, Va., circled with a line that pointed toward the White House. A Wythe County prosecutor said Thursday that the case has been continued pending resolution of the federal one.
The White House incident sparked an extensive security review, and the Secret Service’s director resigned after The Washington Post disclosed that Gonzalez allegedly got farther inside the mansion than initially reported.
At Thursday’s hearing, Bos said the government requested a forensic search of Gonzalez’s computer. Bos also asked for a new hearing date, adding there “may be a resolution at that point.” A hearing is scheduled for Jan. 13.