John Hinckley Jr. released 35 years after Reagan assassination attempt, will live in Williamsburg

Posted at 1:09 PM, Sep 10, 2016

John Hinckley Jr., the man who shot President Ronald Reagan in 1981, was released from St. Elizabeth's Hospital on Saturday morning.

John Hinckley JrA federal judge granted Hinckley "full-time convalescent leave" from the hospital on July 27.

For the past two years, he's been allowed to spend 17 days a month with his mother in her home at Kingsmill in Williamsburg.

Hinckley fired a gun at President Reagan's entourage as he left the Washington Hilton on March 30, 1981. Reagan was shot along with three others, including Press Secretary James Brady, who died from his injuries in 2014. Since a jury found him not guilty by reason of insanity, Hinckley has lived at a mental hospital.

The new order allows Hinckley to conditionally live full-time in Williamsburg.

There are 34 conditions outlined in the federal order of his release that Hinckley must abide by to remain free.

Full court order of Hinckley's release | Full opinion of U.S. vs. John Hinckley Jr.

Some of the more notable conditions include:

  • Hinckley will not be able to publicly display, physically or on the internet, any memorabilia, writings, paintings, photographs, artwork, or music created by him without approval from his doctors.
  • Participation in “individual music therapy sessions” at least once a month and in “structured activities in the Williamsburg area," including volunteer work is required.
  • Hinckley or his family members will not be allowed to have any contact with the media and he cannot communicate with anyone about his offense via mail, phone or any electronic communication.
  • He can only reside with his mother in Williamsburg for at least the first year of his release. After one year, he may reside on his own or with roommates within 30 miles of Williamsburg.
  • He must carry a GPS enabled phone and can only drive within 30 miles of Williamsburg in a pre-approved vehicle.
  • There will be no contact allowed with Jodie Foster, Reagan family members, James Brady family members, Thomas Delahanty and family members, Timothy McCarthy and family members, Jeanette Wick and family members.
  • No travel is allowed in any areas where current or former Presidents, VP’s, Congress members, Executive Branch senior members, or Secret Service protectees reside.
  • Hinckley cannot have any drugs, alcohol, illegal substances, or weapons and must keep a daily log of his activities.

Dr. Felicia Flores has studied the Hinckley case closely and even wrote her dissertation about it. She wasn't surprised by the court's decision, saying it was more a matter of when, not if, he would be released.

"For many years now he's had visitation privileges to Hampton Roads and the hospital, along with the courts, have been developing a plan to gradually give him more freedoms to acclimate to life on the outside," Flores told News 3.

After Hinkley has been free for a year to 18 months, an updated risk assessment will be performed to determine whether his progress has continued. If there are no new areas of concern, some of his conditions may be reduced.


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