WASHINGTON (PM) — The man who attempted to kill President Ronald Reagan is interested in getting a job in the music industry, possibly in California, his lawyer stated at a court hearing in Washington on Tuesday.
John Hinckley Jr., 64, lives in Virginia and was not at the hearing. A prosecutor stated allowing Hinckley to relocate to California for a music industry job would give the government “great pause.”
Hinckley spent decades residing at a psychiatric hospital in Washington after being found not guilty by reason of insanity in the 1981 shooting that injured Reagan and three others. But health professionals have maintained that the mental illness that the 25-year-old Hinckley was suffering from when he shot Reagan has been in full and stable remission for decades. U.S. District Judge Paul L. Friedman has stated he is no longer a danger to himself or others and has gradually allowed him more time away from the hospital and more freedom.
Since 2016, Hinckley has lived at his mother’s home in Williamsburg, Virginia. Hinckley lives under a set of 30 conditions Friedman required including regular visits with mental health professionals. Friedman receives reports on how he’s doing and, on Tuesday, stated he believes some conditions can be relaxed.
“Some conditions that are now in place don’t need to be in place,” the judge declared, though he didn’t define which ones.
Hinckley’s conditions constitute living within a 75-mile radius of Williamsburg, visiting group and individual therapy sessions, volunteering or working at least three days a week and not talking with the media.
Friedman’s lawyer Barry Levine stated during Tuesday’s approximately 40-minute hearing that he would file a motion seeking reduced conditions, though he didn’t say when or what precisely he’d ask for. He said he eventually plans to ask that Hinckley be freed without any conditions, and he said he would request that “in due course.” He admitted after the hearing, however, that getting the judge to grant Hinckley unconditional release would be a long and possibly arduous process.
In the 1981 shooting, Hinckley injured then-President Ronald Reagan, police officer Thomas Delahanty, Secret Service officer James Brady, and critically injured former James Brady, who eventually succumbed to his wounds inflicted by Hinckley in 2014, with his death being declared a homicide. Hinckley did not face charges as a result of Brady’s death because he had been found not guilty of the original crime by reason of insanity. Furthermore, since Brady’s death occurred more than 33 years after the shooting, prosecution of Hinckley was barred under the law of the District of Columbia in effect on the day of the shooting in 1981.