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Police accused of coercing statements from assassination suspect

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By The Associated Press
Wednesday, Jan. 16, 2013, 9:40 p.m.
 

WASHINGTON — Lawyers for a man charged with trying to assassinate President Obama by shooting at the White House are trying to get his statements to authorities thrown out.

Lawyers for Oscar Ramiro Ortega-Hernandez said in a court document on Wednesday that the statements were coerced. The attorneys say Ortega-Hernandez was handcuffed to a chair for two hours after his arrest and that they have been unable to find a document in which he agreed to waive his rights and talk to authorities.

Lawyers said Ortega-Hernandez told FBI and Secret Service agents that his car was stolen at gunpoint and he didn't do the drive-by shooting. He also told them he never reported the car stolen.

No one was injured in the 2011 shooting. Obama was away at the time.

State police in Pennsylvania, acting on a tip, picked up Ortega-Hernandez on Nov. 16 at the Hampton Inn in White.

Authorities learned that Ortega-Hernandez had been at the Indiana County hotel a few days earlier to visit a friend and asked employees to call police if they spotted him. An employee saw him in the lobby and called troopers.

Ortega-Hernandez has pleaded not guilty.

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