Man who fired at White House gets 25-year sentence

Windsor Genova – Fourth Estate Cooperative Contributor

Washington, DC, United States (4E) – The Idaho man who fired an assault rifle eight times at the White House in 2011 was sentenced Monday to 25 years in prison for the crime.

Oscar Ortega-Hernandez, 23, was read the sentence at a federal court in Washington more than six months after he pleaded guilty to using a firearm during a crime of violence, damaging the White House and threatening lives. He was originally charged with 17 counts, including trying to assassinate President Barack Obama.

Obama and his family were not at the White House at the time of the shooting on Nov. 11, 2011.

Ortega drove 2,200 miles from his home in Idaho Falls to the White House on a 1998 Honda Accord car and fired the Romanian-made rifle from Constitution Avenue before speeding away towards Virginia. The bullets hit the second and third floors of the White House causing nearly $100,000 in damages and narrowly missed U.S. Secret Service officers on guard duty.

Ortega’s car was found crashed and abandoned near the ramp to the Theodore Roosevelt Memorial Bridge. Police found his fingerprints on the ammunition magazines left inside the car and he was arrested at a Pennsylvania motel five days later.

Prosecutors said Ortega planned the shooting to kill Obama, whom he called the anti-Christ. Ortega’s lawyers said he was depressed and suffering from mental stress when he fired at the White House.

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