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Man Who Tried to Assassinate Reagan to Walk Free This Month

Reagan, El American

Available: Español

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A federal judge confirmed Wednesday that John W. Hinckley Jr. the man who tried to kill then-President Ronald Reagan in 1981, will be released without restrictions mid-month.

In a hearing, Paul Friedman, U.S. District Court Judge for the District of Columbia, found that after four decades of supervision, Hinckley should be ready to move on with his life.

At Wednesday’s hearing, both the prosecution and Hinckley’s defense agreed that the defendant had successfully completed the nine-month observation period Friedman set last September when he issued the order that he will be free without restrictions on June 15.

Friedman acknowledged that, despite having attempted to kill the President of the United States, Hinckley, 67, has been the most closely watched person in the U.S. mental health system, living under a microscope that no one else has ever had.

Last September, Hinckley’s attorneys and prosecutors in the case reached a deal, accepted by the judge, whereby he will be released without restrictions this month.

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Hinckley is currently living under strict restrictions, which were imposed on him in July 2016, when he was released from the psychiatric hospital where he was committed after he opened fire on Reagan outside the Washington Hilton Hotel on March 30, 1981, at the age of 25.

In July 2016, Hinckley left the psychiatric facility after it was determined that he posed no danger to himself or others, and has since resided in Williamsburg, Virginia, about 250 miles from Washington, with his mother, Jo Ann Hinckley, who died last year.

When he was allowed to leave the hospital, the judge ordered Hinckley to be subject to strict conditions that included traveling to Washington once a month for psychiatric treatment.

He was also prohibited from possessing weapons or drugs and from making contact with his victims’ families.

In addition, restrictions were imposed on his use of the internet, although in 2020 he obtained judicial authorization to broadcast music online on an account in his name.

Under the terms of the agreement, Hinckley was to undergo a final nine-month observation period, which he has now completed.

In the 1981 bombing, Hinckley seriously wounded Reagan, who managed to recover after being shot near the heart.

He also wounded Reagan’s press secretary, James Brady; Secret Service agent Tim McCarthy, who rushed at the president to act as a shield; and police officer Thomas Delahanty.

Hinckley confessed to having attempted to assassinate the president in order to attract the attention of actress Jodie Foster, and was found not guilty in June 1982 due to his mental derangement.

Ronald Reagan died in 2004 at the age of 90, but his children, Ron Reagan Jr. and Patti Reagan Davis, always opposed Hinckley’s release.