White House shooter sentenced to 25 years

2014-04-01 15:44
File image of  Oscar Ramiro Ortega-Hernandez. (United States Park Police, AFP)

File image of Oscar Ramiro Ortega-Hernandez. (United States Park Police, AFP)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

kalahari.com

  • The Amateur
    A gripping read that reveals never before published details about the Obama administration's... Now R321.00
    buy now
Washington - An Idaho man, who pleaded guilty to firing an assault rifle at the White House in 2011, striking the executive mansion more than half a dozen times, was sentenced on Monday to 25 years in prison.

Prosecutors initially charged Oscar Ramiro Ortega-Hernandez with attempting to assassinate President Barack Obama but agreed to drop the charge as part of a plea deal last year. Ortega-Hernandez instead pleaded guilty to two charges including damaging the home.

The president and first lady Michelle Obama were not home at the time of the shooting, and no one was injured. But prosecutors said Ortega-Hernandez, aged 23, jeopardised the lives of numerous others.

That included two other members of the Obama family who were at the home as well as White House employees and staff, Secret Service agents, tourists and bystanders.

Prosecutors said the bullets from Ortega-Hernandez's gun caused nearly $100 000 worth of damage to the home. They asked that Ortega-Hernandez spend 27 and a half  years in prison.

'Apocalypse'

Ortega-Hernandez himself told the judge he was "deeply sorry" for putting people in danger when he drove by the White House on the night of 11 November 2011 and shot at the home from his car. He said that he "never meant to hurt anybody".

"I'm not a bad person. I made a huge mistake", he said before pleading for a 10-year sentence.

Ortega-Hernandez's lawyers argued that he was suffering from extreme depression and mental stress at the time of the shooting and was under the misguided belief that the end of the world was coming.

Ortega-Hernandez's lawyers said his motivation in firing a gun at the White House was to "call attention to what he believed was the coming apocalypse".

They said in written filings with the court that he rejected shooting at locations in Idaho Falls, where he is from, as well as at the Grand Canyon and Statue of Liberty, because he didn't think they would attract enough attention.

One of Ortega-Hernandez's lawyers, Robert Feitel, stressed on Monday that his client never intended to assassinate the president. He noted that Ortega-Hernandez pleaded guilty instead to the charges of "injury to a dwelling and placing lives in jeopardy", as well as "using, carrying and discharging a firearm during a crime of violence".

But prosecutor George Varghese called Ortega-Hernandez a "lone wolf domestic terrorist" during Monday's hearing, which lasted approximately two hours, and said he "placed countless lives in jeopardy.

" Varghese described how Ortega-Hernandez practiced using his gun in Idaho. He also detailed statements from friends and acquaintances who said Ortega-Hernandez referred to himself as "the modern day Jesus", railed against the government and said he wanted to kill Obama, calling him "the anti-Christ".

Ortega-Hernandez shook his head frequently as Varghese spoke.

Varghese also described in some detail where Ortega-Hernandez's shots had landed, including the roof and the windows of the White House's Treaty Room and Yellow Oval Room. Varghese's colleague, Alessio Evangelista, showed the judge a pane of glass with a bullet hole that was removed from the home.

A manhunt for Ortega-Hernandez after the shooting lasted five days before he was captured in Pennsylvania.

Judge Rosemary M Collyer told Ortega-Hernandez that his actions amounted to "very serious criminal conduct" regardless of whether he intended to assassinate the president.
- AP
Read more on:    barack obama  |  us
NEXT ON NEWS24X
SHARE:

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
3 comments
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining
 

Inside News24

 
/News
Traffic & Train Alerts
Traffic
Montague Gardens 18:07 PM
Road name: Montague Drive

ROADWORKS - lane closures both directions for BRT lane construction - expect delays

Kuils River 18:05 PM
Road name: Polkadraai Road Eastbound

ROADWORKS between the R102 Van Riebeeck Road and the R310 Baden Powell Drive exit - expect delays

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Magical Massinga

Spend 5 nights at the gorgeous Massinga Beach Lodge in Mozambique and only pay for 4 from R13 220 per person sharing. Includes return flights, accommodation, transfers and romantic turndown. Book now!

Kalahari.com - shop online today

Up to 60% off - clearance sale!

Save up to 60% on appliances, books, electronics, toys, movies and more. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Deal of the Week!

Get bestselling John Green novels now just R99 each! Hurry and get yours while stocks last. Shop here.

Mind blowing deals on beauty & fragrances

Save up to 30% off beauty and fragrances. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Up to 50% off hair care products!

Save up to 50% on professional hair care products at kalahari.com. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

30% off academic books

Score a mind blowing 30% off academic books! Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Samsung Galaxy s4

Mobile, Cell Phones in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 24

Best bargain in big bay

Real Estate, Houses - Apartments for Sale in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

VW Golf 6, 1.6 Trendline (Excellent condition)

Vehicles, Cars in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

Horoscopes
Aquarius
Aquarius

It is the end of the month and there may be a strong focus on organising finances. You may have found a need to reconstruct or...read more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.








Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.