White House Shooter Sentenced to 25 Years - FindLaw Blotter
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White House Shooter Sentenced to 25 Years

The White House shooter was sentenced to 25 years in prison for weapons charges and for placing lives in jeopardy.

Although Oscar Ramiro Ortega-Hernandez, 23, of Idaho Falls, Idaho was originally charged with attempting to assassinate the president, but the charges were reduced pursuant to a plea bargain, according to Reuters.

Ortega-Hernandez's criminal charges are considered terrorism-related acts.

Ortega-Hernandez's Defense

Ortega-Hernandez fired shots at the White House back in 2011 because he was convinced that he was on a mission from God to assassinate President Obama.

While it was speculated that the White House shooter would offer up an insanity defense, his attorney stated that at the time of the shooting, Ortega-Hernandez was under extreme depression and mental duress, according to Politico.

Authorities state that Ortega-Hernandez believed President Obama was the "anti-Christ" and traveled to Washington, D.C. to kill him. However, Ortega-Hernandez's attorney said that his client was convinced that Armageddon was imminent and wanted to warn people about it. Perhaps evidence of Ortega-Hernandez's mental condition is what convinced a judge to give a slightly lighter sentence than the 27.5 years offered by prosecutors.

Sentencing

If Ortega-Hernandez had been charged with an attempted presidential assassination, he may have faced life in prison. However, the White House shooter pled guilty last year to weapons and terrorism charges.

Under federal law, terrorism is defined as calculated actions seeking to influence or affect the conduct of government through intimidation or coercion, or to retaliate against government conduct. The federal criminal statute includes attempted killing during an attack on a federal facility with a dangerous weapon -- like Ortega-Hernandez's White House shooting. At the same time, if a person willfully and maliciously destroys or injures a U.S. dwelling or places another person's life in jeopardy, that person may be imprisoned for 20 years.

Some of the White House shooter's bullets struck the presidential abode -- a bullet was also lodged in a window on the south side of the White House, according to Politico. Secret Service officers were stationed outside the building at the time of the shooting and were also susceptible to being shot. Considering these facts and other factors about the defendant, the judge sentenced Ortega-Hernandez to 25 years in prison.

Although the case may seem closed for the 23-year-old, Ortega-Hernandez still has the option to appeal the federal judge's sentence, according to Reuters.

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