Reagan’s would-be assassin to be released after 35 years

John Hinckley Jr, the man who had attempted to assassinate Ronald Reagan (above), will be freed next month.
John Hinckley Jr, the man who had attempted to assassinate Ronald Reagan (above), will be freed next month. PHOTO: ST FILE

WASHINGTON (REUTERS) – John Hinckley Jr, who wounded United States President Ronald Reagan and three other people in a 1981 assassination attempt, should be freed after 35 years and released to live with his mother, a federal judge ruled on Wednesday (July 27).

US District Judge Paul Friedman said Hinckley no longer posed a danger to himself or others and could be released from a government psychiatric hospital in Washington.

Hinckley, 61, “is permitted to reside full-time in Williamsburg, Virginia, on convalescent leave, which shall begin no sooner than Aug 5, 2016,” Friedman said in a 14-page order. His mother lives in Williamsburg, about 210km south of Washington.

The order includes a requirement that Hinckley meet with his psychiatrist in Washington at least once a month and notify the Secret Service when he travels for the appointment.

A jury found Hinckley not guilty by reason of insanity for the attack on Reagan, which also badly wounded presidential press secretary James Brady. Hinckley carried out the attack in a bid to impress actress Jodie Foster, with whom he was obsessed.