POLITICS
10/21/2014 04:25 pm ET Updated Dec 21, 2014

Court Orders Mental Health Evaluation For White House Fence Jumper

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(Adds comments from judge and defense lawyer)

By Julia Edwards

WASHINGTON, Oct 21 (Reuters) - A federal judge in Washington on Tuesday ordered a 30 day mental health evaluation for Omar Gonzalez, the Iraq war veteran charged with jumping the fence of the White House and entering the presidential mansion with a knife last month.

Gonzalez was found "not competent" to stand trial in a one-hour screening performed while he was detained following the Sept. 19 incident.

Gonzalez cannot be arraigned on charges returned last week by a federal grand jury unless he is found competent to stand trial.

Gonzalez's attorney, David Bos, said he has "no doubt" that Gonzalez is competent and expects the fuller evaluation to support his conclusion.

Judge Rosemary Collyer raised concerns that the trial could drag out if overcrowded mental health facilities run by the Bureau of Prisons do not have the resources to take in Gonzalez and evaluate him.

Gonzalez is scheduled to appear before Collyer again on Dec. 3. (Reporting By Julia Edwards; Editing by Sandra Maler)

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