John Hinckley Jr. Is Going Free

Would-be Reagan assassin has been hospitalized for 35 years
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 27, 2016 8:44 AM CDT
John Hinckley Jr. Is Going Free
John Hinckley Jr. in 2003.   (AP Photo/Evan Vucci, File)

The man who shot Ronald Reagan will soon be a free man. A federal judge has ruled that John Hinckley Jr., now 61, poses no risk to society and can live permanently with his mother in Williamsburg, Va., reports the Washington Post. It could happen as early as next month. Hinckley was found not guilty by reason of insanity after the 1981 shooting that wounded the president and three others, and he has spent most of that time as a patient at St. Elizabeth's psychiatric hospital in DC. In recent years, he's been allowed to live at his 90-year-old mother at her home under supervised conditions for up to 17 days a month.

Hinckley still will be subject to certain conditions under this more permanent leave, and if he violates them, he'll go back to St. Elizabeth's, notes the Post. Among them: He can't go outside of a 50-mile radius of Williamsburg or use social media. Nor can he talk to the media, reports CBS News. The Washingtonian recently provided a snapshot of what his life is now like, at least while he's at his mother's house, and it includes lots of stray cats. (Last year, Hinckley escaped homicide charges in the death of James Brady, who was seriously wounded in the shooting.)

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