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Man Who Tried to Assassinate President Reagan to be Released

  • VOA News

FILE - John Hinckley Jr. arrives at U.S. District Court in Washington.

FILE - John Hinckley Jr. arrives at U.S. District Court in Washington.

John Hinckley, the man who attempted to assassinate President Ronald Reagan 35 years ago, will be released soon from a government psychiatric hospital in Washington.

U.S. District Judge Paul Friedman said the 61-year-old Hinckley is no longer a threat to himself and others and will be allowed to live with his mother in Williamsburg, Virginia as early as August 5.

Hinckley's new living arrangement will be subject to many monitoring and psychiatric treatment conditions that could be phased out over the next year or so.

He has been confined to Saint Elizabeth's hospital and allowed extended monthly supervised visits at his mother's home.

The judge's order requires authorities to return Hinckley to Saint Elizabeth's if he violates the terms of his release.

Hinckley's case brought nationwide attention to the criminal justice system's handling of gun violence and mental illness.

In addition to wounding Reagan, Hinckley shot press secretary James Brady, a U.S. Secret Service agent and a local police officer. The shooting victims survived but Brady was paralyzed due to a gunshot to the head.

Brady, who died in 2014, spent the rest of his life pushing for more stringent gun control laws.