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

U.S. Attorney asked for longer evaluation

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    Art Lien
    Court room sketch by Art Lien

    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.