James Brady's Death Ruled a Homicide
John Hinckley's bullet in 1981 ultimately killed him: medical examiner
By Neal Colgrass, Newser Staff
Posted Aug 8, 2014 4:50 PM CDT
Updated Aug 8, 2014 7:38 PM CDT
This March 30, 2011 file photo shows former White House press secretary James Brady looking at his wife Sarah Brady, during a news conference on Capitol Hill.   (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

(Newser) – A Virginia medical examiner ruled today that the death of James Brady, Ronald Reagan's former press secretary, was actually a homicide, NBC Washington reports. Brady was severely wounded with a bullet to the head when John Hinckley tried to assassinate Reagan outside the Washington Hilton Hotel in 1981. The injury left Brady partly paralyzed and confined to a wheelchair with poor speech. Now, according to an autopsy, his death a few days ago was caused by complications from Hinkley's bullet.

Media reports say Hinckley could be charged in Brady's death: "There is no statute of limitations on murder in either the federal or state system," says an NBC justice correspondent, but he adds that officials may choose against taking action. Hinckley was found not guilty by reason of insanity in the assassination attempt and has spent years as a mental patient at a hospital in Washington, DC. His health has improved to the point where he's spending more than 50% of his free time on visits outside the hospital, but "a jury has already concluded on the same incident that he was not guilty," a law professor tells the AP. "Nothing today changes that." Brady, despite his injuries, waged a gun-control battle that led to the 1993 Brady Handgun Violence Protection Act requiring gun background checks.

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Showing 3 of 178 comments
Aug 10, 2014 3:38 PM CDT
Glad to know Dinkley is "getting better" and getting some fresh air. Rather than charge him with murder, why not simply not allow him to leave the nuthouse?
Lou Bernardo
Aug 10, 2014 11:27 AM CDT
Talk about stretching the truth!
Aug 9, 2014 9:50 PM CDT
What a crock of BS ! This is nothing more than a vengeful family looking to extract their pound of flesh from someone who already did his time. They still had their loved one, and although crippled for the rest of his life, was still able to live and partake with his family for a good number of years. Move On ! ! !