October 22, 2020

Idaho man charged with trying to assassinate Obama

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Oscar Ortega

BOISE, Idaho (AP) — An Idaho man accused of firing an assault rifle at the White House believed he was Jesus and thought President Barack Obama was the Antichrist, according to court documents and those who knew him. At one point, he even suggested to an acquaintance the president was planning to implant computer tracking chips into children.

Oscar Ramiro Ortega-Hernandez, 21, was charged Thursday with attempting to assassinate the president or his staff. He is accused of firing nine rounds at the White House last Friday night — one of them cracking a window of the first family’s living quarters — when Obama and the first lady were away. If convicted, Ortega faces up to life in prison.

Ortega was arrested Wednesday at a western Pennsylvania hotel when a desk clerk there recognized him and called police.

Ortega’s public defender, Christopher Brown, declined comment after his first court hearing in Pennsylvania. Ortega’s mother has said he has no history of mental illness, though when authorities were looking for him, they reported he had “mental health issues.”

Kimberly Allen, the mother of Ortega’s former fiancee, said he had been well-mannered and kind in the four years she had known him. But he recently began making statements to her daughter that were out of character, including that he believed he was Jesus.

 

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