Judge frees Reagan attacker John Hinckley Jr.

Should Ronald Reagan's Would-Be Assassin Be Released?

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - John Hinckley Jr., who wounded U.S. President Ronald Reagan and three other people in a 1981 assassination attempt, should be freed after 35 years and released to live with his mother, a federal judge ruled on Wednesday.

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U.S. District Judge Paul Friedman said Hinckley no longer posed a danger to himself or others and could be released from a government psychiatric hospital in Washington.

Hinckley, 61, "is permitted to reside full-time in Williamsburg, Virginia, on convalescent leave, which shall begin no sooner than Aug. 5, 2016," Friedman said in a 14-page order. His mother lives in Williamsburg, about 130 miles (210 km) south of Washington.

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Reagan attacker John Hinckley Jr.
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Reagan attacker John Hinckley Jr.

The order includes a requirement that Hinckley meet with his psychiatrist in Washington at least once a month and notify the Secret Service when he travels for the appointment.

A jury found Hinckley not guilty by reason of insanity for the attack on Reagan, which also badly wounded presidential press secretary James Brady. Hinckley carried out the attack in a bid to impress actress Jodie Foster, with whom he was obsessed.

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