White House fence-jumper Omar Gonzalez has entered a guilty plea on two charges of entering restricted grounds with a dangerous weapon and assaulting, resisting, or impeding an officer.
Gonzalez, who entered court wearing a bright orange jumpsuit and white sneakers, was unrestrained and was cooperative throughout the hearing. He will remain detained until sentencing.
According to the government's evidence on a September evening, Gonzalez climbed over the north fence of the White House. An officer with the U.S. Secret Service ran toward him and yelled at him to stop. Gonzalez, however, ran toward the White House.
Moments later, he went through the north doors and entered the building. He was apprehended inside the White House after he allegedly assaulted, resisted or impeded two U.S. Secret Service officers, the basis for the new federal charges filed today.
Gonzalez was later searched and a black folding knife was discovered in his right front pants pocket. The knife had a serrated blade that was three and one-half inches long. After Gonzalez's arrest, he gave oral consent to search his vehicle, which was located on Constitution Avenue NW. The vehicle contained hundreds of rounds of ammunition, both in boxes and in magazines, two hatchets and a machete.
Gonzalez was charged with "entering a restricted building or grounds, while carrying a deadly or dangerous weapon" which carries a statutory maximum of 10 years in prison. He also faces several District law violations which carry an additional 23 years. In December, the court accepted the findings of a psychiatric report concluding that Gonzalez was "competent" to go forward with proceedings.
The Sept. 19 incident in which Gonzalez reached the East Room of the White House contributed to the resignation of Secret Service head Julia Pierson.
His sentence will be decided at a hearing on June 8th at 2pm. He faces a likely sentence of 12-18 months but the judge has discretion to go higher or lower.