Government Requests Second Opinion on White House Shooting Suspect's Mental Health

U.S. Attorney asked for longer evaluation

Monday, Nov 28, 2011  |  Updated 4:02 PM EDT
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The man accused of shooting an assault rifle at the White House has been deemed of sound enough mind to face trial, but the U.S. government would like a second opinion.

On Monday morning, Dr. Elisabeth Teegarden delivered a report to the U.S. government, in which she judged Oscar Ortega-Hernandez to be mentally competent.

But in a court filing Monday, the U.S. Attorney for the District of Columbia Ronald C. Machen requested that Ortega-Hernandez undergo a more thorough mental screening.  Machen wrote that he did not dispute Dr. Teegarden's initial evaluation, but thought a longer-form mental evaluation should be conducted, based upon the severity of the charges.

Teegarden’s evaluation was based upon a 50-minute interview.  Ortega-Hernandez has been charged with attempted assassination of President Barack Obama, which carries a maximum penalty of life in prison.

President Obama was not in the White House when Ortega-Hernandez allegedly fired a Romarm Cugir Wasr 10, an AK-47-style weapon, at the White House from Constitution Avenue.

In a videotaped recording intended for television personality Oprah Winfrey, the suspect referred to himself as a "modern day Jesus."

The 21-year-old is represented by a court-appointed public attorney.

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