John Hinckley Jr., President Ronald Reagan’s would-be assassin, will be permanently released to his mother’s Williamsburg, Virginia, home on Sept. 10, his attorney said today.
Hinckley’s release from a government psychiatric hospital a week from Saturday follows a judge’s order in July. U.S. District Judge Paul Friedman found that Hinckley, 61, no longer poses a danger to himself or others.
“This is the culmination of many decades of intense therapy, and I think an enormous achievement. This man is well,” said Hinckley’s longtime defense attorney Barry Levine. “I think that he will be a productive citizen and a good addition to the community.”
In Williamsburg, Hinckley will be subjected to dozens of conditions, some of which could be phased out after a year if he adheres to them. He could also be returned to St. Elizabeths Hospital in Washington, D.C., if he relapses or violates the terms of his release.
In freeing Hinckley, Friedman cited his successful completion of more than 80 visits over the past decade to Williamsburg. Hinckley already spends up to 17 days a month at the home of his 90-year-old mother in a gated golf-course development.
Levine, who first confirmed the release date to the Associated Press, said in a statement that “people of good will should feel good about Mr. Hinckley’s recovery and wish him well.”
Hinckley’s representatives declined to release additional details about his departure or plans outside of the hospital.
As part of the judge’s order, Hinckley must continue weekly contact with therapists in Williamsburg, return at least monthly for outpatient treatment in Washington and volunteer or work three times a week. He also must stay out of contact with the news media, his victims and their families, the U.S. president and members of Congress.
James West, chief of the Kingsmill Police Department, which covers the community where Hinckley will live, said Thursday that the department had not been alerted to the release date but expects to “conduct business as usual.”
A spokesman for the Secret Service did not immediately return a message seeking comment. The U.S. attorney’s office declined to comment.
Hinckley was 25 when he wounded Reagan, White House press secretary James Brady, Secret Service agent Tim McCarthy and D.C. police Officer Thomas Delahanty with six exploding “Devastator” bullets from a .22-caliber pistol.
All survived the 1981 attack, but Brady was left paralyzed by a shot to his head and spent years before his death in 2014 advocating for gun control.
Hinckley said he shot Reagan to try to impress actress Jodie Foster after repeatedly viewing the film “Taxi Driver.”
Hinckley was acquitted after an eight-week trial by a federal jury that found him not guilty by reason of insanity in June 1982.
(c) 2016, The Washington Post · Ann E. Marimow, Spencer S. Hsu