The Idaho man charged with shooting at the White House in an alleged attempt to kill President Barack Obama will remain in custody pending trial.
Magistrate Judge John Facciola of U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia today found probable cause to keep the alleged shooter, Oscar Ortega-Hernandez, in federal custody. Ortega-Hernandez is charged with crimes that include attempted assassination.
The authorities claim Ortega-Hernandez opened fire with an assault rifle at the White House in November, shooting from the passenger window of his car. Investigators found bullet evidence at the White House--including a bullet lodged in a window--that they later linked to Ortega-Hernandez.
An FBI special agent said today that the bullets fired at the White House came from an assault rifle found in Ortega-Hernandez’s vehicle. The authorities arrested Ortega-Hernandez at a motel in Pennsylvania several days after the shooting.
Ortega-Hernandez admitted he was in Washington but he denied owning the weapon investigators found in his car, a dark-colored sedan, after the shooting. He said he hitchhiked and walked to Pennsylvania from the District.
An assistant federal public defender, David Bos, today explored inconsistent statements from witnesses in an attempt to convince Facciola to release Ortega-Hernandez from custody. One witness, a jogger, said the shooting involved a yellow van.
Bos also said investigators did not find Ortega-Hernandez’s fingerprints on the assault rifle found in the car.