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ACCUSED White House shooter plea bargains

Updated:

WASHINGTON (AP) _ A former Internal Revenue Service auditor accused of firing shots outside the White House seeks to plead guilty to a local charge of carrying a pistol without a license.

Under the agreement announced Tuesday, Robert W. Pickett, 48, of Evansville, Ind., also would enter an Alford plea to a charge of assaulting a federal officer. He would not admit guilt on that count but would acknowledge the government has enough evidence to convict him. A federal weapons charge would be dropped.

Pickett would serve three years in prison followed by three years probation. He would also pay a $200 penalty.

He could face 25 years in prison if convicted on all three charges. Prosecutors said they would not oppose Pickett's request that he serve his sentence at the Federal Medical Center in Rochester, Minn.

U.S. District Judge Henry Kennedy Jr., who is considering the plea bargain, set a sentencing hearing for July 31. If he rejects the deal, Pickett could withdraw his plea.

Pickett appeared before the judge in an orange D.C. Jail jumpsuit.

``No one is forcing me or giving me any pressure to make this decision,'' he told the judge when asked if he was entering the plea voluntarily.

He told Kennedy he is taking medication for mental illness and that he has been treated by psychiatrists and psychologists in the past.

``I first began having symptoms nearly 30 years ago,'' he said.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Ronald L. Walutes told the court Pickett consumed ``two canisters'' of medication on Feb. 7 before he allegedly fired shots outside the White House grounds.

Prosecutors contend Pickett fired two shots before pointing a handgun in the direction of uniformed Secret Service officers concealed in shrubbery on the grounds. Another uniformed officer wounded Pickett before he was subdued.

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