Crime & Justice

Man who tried to kill Reagan to walk free this month

Washington, June 1 (EFE).- John W. Hinckley Jr, who tried to assassinate then-president Ronald Reagan in 1981, will walk free after his unconditional release later this month, a US federal judge ruled on Wednesday.

Reagan and his press secretary James Brady suffered wounds in the shooting.

Secret Service agent Tim McCarthy, who shielded Reagan, and policeman Thomas Delahanty, also received injuries.

Hinckley confessed that he tried to assassinate the president at the doors of the Hotel Washington Hilton to attract the attention of the actress Jodie Foster.

He was found not guilty in June 1982 as he suffered from acute psychosis and had developed an obsession with the 1980 “Foxes” actress.

Hinckley remained at a mental hospital for nearly 30 years before the court ordered his conditional release in 2016.

Since then, he has lived in Williamsburg, Virginia, about 250 km from Washington, with his mother, Jo Ann Hinckley, who died last year.

US District Judge Paul Friedman said four decades of “supervision,” Hinckley, 67, “should be prepared to continue with his life.”

“I am confident that Hinckley will do well in his remaining years,” the judge said.

The prosecution and the defense agreed that Hinckley had completed nine months under observation set by Friedman in September last, when the judge ordered his unconditional release on June 15, 2022.

Friedman acknowledged that Hinckley had been the most closely watched person in the US mental health system, “living under a microscope” that no one else has had.

Currently, Hinckley lives under strict restrictions imposed on him in July 2016, when he left the psychiatric hospital.

He was 25 at the time of admission.

When the court allowed him to leave the psychiatric facility, the judge ordered him to travel to Washington once a month for psychiatric treatment.

He was barred from possessing weapons or drugs and establishing contact with the relatives of his victims.

He was restricted from accessing the internet. But in 2020, he secured judicial permission to air music online from an account in his name.

Ronald Reagan died in 2004 at the age of 90. His children Ron Reagan Jr. and Patti Reagan Davis have always opposed his release. EFE


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