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Man pleads not guilty to trying to kill Obama

Tuesday - 1/24/2012, 3:51pm  ET

'One of the most serious crimes imaginable'

WTOP's Andrew Mollenbeck

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By ERIC TUCKER
Associated Press

WASHINGTON - A man charged with trying to assassinate President Barack Obama has pleaded not guilty.

Oscar Ramiro-Ortega Hernandez made a brief appearance with his public defender Tuesday in U.S. District Court in Washington. He was indicted last week.

Ortega is accused of firing shots at the White House on the night of Nov. 11. Obama and his wife, Michelle, were not home at the time.

Ortega was arrested several days after the shooting in Pennsylvania.

The indictment includes charges of attempting to assassinate the president, transporting a firearm across state lines and assaulting a United States employee with a deadly weapon.

Prosecutors say Ortega harbored conspiracy theories and fantasies of killing the president.

Ortega did not speak in court Tuesday. He's due to make another appearance next month.


(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)