WASHINGTON — A US federal judge on Monday ordered a psychological evaluation for the 21-year-old Idaho man accused of attempting to assassinate President Barack Obama by firing an assault rifle at the White House.
Oscar Ramiro Ortega-Hernandez appeared in federal court in handcuffs and sporting long black hair and a thick black beard.
Judge Alan Kay ordered him held without bail, and appointed public defender David Bos to handle his case. Bos immediately tried to have the case dismissed, citing a lack of evidence.
"The only evidence come from witnesses and they don't identify" Ortega-Hernandez, said Bos, adding that there was "no indication" that the shooting took place on November 11.
Kay disagreed. "There is sufficient evidence for the case to continue," he said, and ordered Ortega-Hernandez to undergo a mental test before his next court appearance on November 28.
Pennsylvania state police arrested Ortega-Hernandez at a hotel near Indiana, Pennsylvania, on November 17 following the shooting incident at the presidential mansion in Washington.
Obama and his wife Michelle were in California at the time of the incident, and no one was injured. Ortega-Hernandez could face a maximum sentence of life in prison if convicted.
Two witnesses who know the suspect well said he had described Obama as the "devil" and the "anti-Christ," according to the criminal complaint.
In an amateur video that aired on CBS News, Ortega-Hernandez presented himself as Jesus Christ.
"It's not just a coincidence that I look like Jesus. I am the modern day Jesus Christ that you all have been waiting for," he said in the video.
Within five minutes of the shooting authorities located an abandoned vehicle registered to Ortega-Hernandez.
In the car investigators recovered a semi-automatic assault rifle "with a large scope mounted on the top portion of the weapon" along with ammunition and nine spent shell casings, according to the criminal complaint.