Would-be assassin John Hinckley asking for unconditional release

WASHINGTON — John Hinckley, the man who tried to kill President Ronald Reagan in 1981, is asking to be unconditionally set free.

A court filing from last week mentions that Hinckley in April “orally moved for an unconditional release from his commitment” under a provision of D.C. law.

A judge will hold a hearing on Hinckley’s motion in December.

Hinckley was found not guilty by reason of insanity in the attempt on Reagan’s life, in which he wounded D.C. police officer Thomas Delahanty, Secret Service agent Tim McCarthy and Press Secretary James Brady, the latter of whom died from complications of his injuries in 2014.

Hinckley was committed to St. Elizabeths Hospital in D.C., and starting in 2006 was given convalescent leave to periodically visit his parents in Williamsburg, Virginia.

In 2016, he was allowed to live with his mother in Williamsburg in 2016 on the condition that the hospital conduct periodic risk assessments.

Hinckley was also barred from contacting the families of Reagan or Brady, or Delahanty or McCarthy and their families. He also can’t contact Jodie Foster, the actress he was trying to impress by shooting Reagan, or her family.

Under the terms of his leave, Hinckley couldn’t be around any current or former presidents, vice presidents or other Secret Service protectees. His internet usage was heavily restricted; he was banned from social media, had to either work or volunteer three days a week and was prohibited from cashing in on his notoriety through writing, music or artwork.

WTOP’s Neal Augenstein contributed to this report.

Rick Massimo

Rick Massimo came to WTOP, and to Washington, in 2012 after having lived in Providence, R.I., since he was a child. He's the author of "A Walking Tour of the Georgetown Set" and "I Got a Song: A History of the Newport Folk Festival."

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