An element of normalcy in John Hinckley's life was revealed at a hearing yesterday, meant to help a judge determine whether the man who shot Ronald Reagan should spend even more time outside of a mental hospital: He has a girlfriend, NBC News reports. Hinckley's brother describes the woman, who Hinckley met at a National Association for the Mentally Ill meeting, as "somewhat compatible" with his brother, though he adds he has never actually met her. But his 89-year-old mother, with whom Hinckley has been staying in Williamsburg, Va., for 17 days a month, approves. CBS News reports the girlfriend has substance abuse issues and lives with her parents in the Williamsburg area. Hinckley's sister dials the story back a bit, saying she's really more of a friend.
Hinckley's lawyer says his client, who costs family members up to $10,000 a month, hasn't shown "a hint of dangerous behavior" and hopes he'll be allowed to live with his mother permanently. Hinckley's brother adds he could live with him in Texas after his mother's death, as long as he's employed. Government officials, however, note worrying discrepancies in what Hinckley says he does with his time outside of St. Elizabeth's Hospital and what he actually gets up to. They cite one case in which he said he was going to see a movie but was found in a bookstore in front of volumes about the Reagan shooting. He also visited a recording studio but didn't report the trip. "Now is not the time to release the reins," a prosecutor says. NBC notes President Obama has played golf on a course just steps from Hinckley's mother's home. (Read more John Hinckley stories.)