Reagan shooter to be released from mental hospital
Brian Todd and Theodore Schleifer, CNN
(CNN) — A federal judge on Wednesday granted John Hinckley Jr., the man who shot President Ronald Reagan in 1981, “full-time convalescent leave” from St. Elizabeth’s Hospital.
The order allows Hinckley, Jr. to live full-time in Williamsburg, Virginia, but still under certain restrictions.
Hinckley and his lawyers appeared in federal court in April 2015 and argued that he had been successfully rehabilitated from his illness and that he deserved a release. But prosecutors worried that his family, struggling to pay the bills to treat his illness, could afford to take care of him.
Hinckley was 25 when he shot Reagan and three others outside the Washington Hilton 35 years ago. James Brady, the White House press secretary who was hit in the shooting, died in 2014 due to injuries from the assassination attempt, though authorities announced earlier this year that they would not pursue additional charges.
Hinckley has slowly gained some freedoms since he was incarcerated. In 2003, he was allowed day visits with his family, and since then has been granted longer visits.
Reagan’s daughter Patti Davis has opposed letting Hinckley gain additional freedoms.
“I hope the doctors are right when they say that John Hinckley isn’t a danger to anyone but something in me feels they are wrong,” she wrote on her website last year.