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Accused Mar-a-Lago checkpoint crasher plans insanity defense to federal charges

Hannah Roemhild, 31, pleaded not guilty in October
Hannah Roemhild
Posted at 4:27 PM, Dec 16, 2020
and last updated 2020-12-16 16:28:52-05

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. — A Connecticut woman accused of crashing an SUV through a security checkpoint at Mar-a-Lago in January plans to use an insanity defense to her latest charges, according to court records.

Hannah Roemhild, 31, of Middletown, Connecticut, made national headlines on Jan. 31 after police said she drove an SUV from the Breakers to Mar-a-Lago. It's alleged she went through a security checkpoint set up along South Ocean Boulevard ahead of President Donald Trump's visit.

Investigators accuse Roemhild of almost hitting both Secret Service agents and Palm Beach County Sheriff Office deputies. PBSO deputies opened fire on Roemhild as she fled in the vehicle. She was detained a short time later.

Law enforcement officials said they had no reason to believe she deliberately targeted Mar-a-Lago, and the president was not at the club when the incident occurred.

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The U.S. Attorney's Office filed charges against Roemhild in October for three counts of assaulting a federal officer with a deadly weapon. Federal prosecutors contend the deadly weapon was the automobile with which she allegedly almost hit three Secret Service agents. She pleaded not guilty to those charges.

Her attorney on Monday filed a notice of an insanity defense, according to federal court records. Prosecutors have filed a request for a mental health evaluation in response.

Roemhild also faces charges in Palm Beach County court and pleaded not guilty by reason of insanity. Her attorneys have stated she was off her medication at the time of the alleged incident at Trump's club and has a history of mental illness.

A plea hearing for Roemhild's state charges is scheduled in Palm Beach County court next April.