Trial for alleged attempted Obama assassin set for next year

The man accused of trying to assassinate President Obama will go on trial next year, a federal judge has ruled.

Oscar Ramiro Ortega-Hernandez pleaded not guilty to 19 charges after authorities arrested him last November for allegedly using a long-range rifle to shoot at the White House from his car.

Judge Rosemary Collyer of the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia ordered that a six-week trial begin on Sept. 30, 2013, for Ortega-Hernandez.

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FBI investigators found “several confirmed bullet impact points on the south side of the [White House] on or above the second story,” according to court documents. One of the bullets struck the Truman Balcony, where Obama occasionally relaxes in the evening, according to an article in Vanity Fair.

Another bullet broke an exterior window of the White House before it was stopped by a second, stronger pane of ballistic glass.

Obama and the first lady were out of the city at the time.

According to court documents, a witness told the U.S. Park Police at the scene that a man in a dark-colored sedan shot a gun through his passenger-side window in the direction of the White House and then sped off.

Another witness reported hearing approximately eight sounds of a “popping noise” and saw “puffs of air” coming from the man’s car, according to documents.

Shortly afterward, police found an abandoned car near the Theodore Roosevelt Bridge. A witness described the vehicle’s driver attempting to restart the car, then fleeing on foot when that failed, according to the criminal complaint.

Authorities found a Romanian Cugir SA semiautomatic assault rifle in the car with a large scope mounted on top of it. They also found three fully loaded ammunition clips, nine spent shell casings, an aluminum baseball bat and brass knuckles, according to the court records.

A person in Idaho who “knows Ortega-Hernandez well” told the U.S. Park Police and the U.S. Secret Service during an interview that the suspect “has increasingly become more agitated against the federal government, and is convinced that the federal government is conspiring against him,” according to court documents.

The person also told authorities “that Ortega-Hernandez wanted to ‘hurt’ President Obama and referred to him as ‘the Antichrist.’ " Several other people who say they know Ortega-Hernandez told authorities they believed the suspect was "preparing for something," referred to Obama as "the devil," and said that he "will not stop until it’s done."

Several of the people in Idaho interviewed by the U.S. Park Police said that Ortega-Hernandez owned a car and a gun similar to those discovered near the White House.

Ortega-Hernandez could face life in prison if found guilty.