1. You Are At:
  2. Home
  3. World News
  4. Ronald Reagan's shooter John Hinckley Jr. released from mental hospital; here is how he will spend his life

Ronald Reagan's shooter John Hinckley Jr. released from mental hospital; here is how he will spend his life

John Hinckley Jr., the man who tried to assassinate President Ronald Reagan in 1981, was released on Saturday from a Washington psychiatric hospital.

India TV News Desk, Washington [ Updated: September 11, 2016 13:00 IST ]
FILE: John Hinckley Jr arrives at US District Court in
Image Source : AP FILE: John Hinckley Jr arrives at US District Court in Washington (Nov 18, 2003)

John Hinckley Jr., the man who tried to assassinate President Ronald Reagan in 1981, was released on Saturday from a Washington psychiatric hospital, more than 35 years after the shooting.

A spokeswoman for the District of Columbia's Department of Mental Health said early Saturday that all patients scheduled to leave St. Elizabeths Hospital had been discharged. John Hinckley Jr. was among those scheduled for discharge.

An Associated Press reporter saw a hired car pull into the driveway of the Hinckley home about 2:30 p.m. Officers from the Kingsmill Police Department chased reporters away.

A federal judge ruled in late July that the 61-year-old Hinckley is not a danger to himself or the public and can live full-time at his mother's home in Williamsburg.

Hinckley had already been visiting Williamsburg for long stretches at a time and preparing for the full-time transition. He'll have to follow a lot of rules while in Williamsburg, but his longtime lawyer Barry Levine says he thinks Hinckley will be a "citizen about whom we can all be proud."

"The very carefully considered decision by the court to release Hinckley based on the copious evidence by medical professionals and government expert witnesses should give great comfort to a concerned citizenry that the mental health system and the judicial system worked and worked well," Hinckley's lawyer Barry William Levine said in a statement.

Doctors said Hinckley had recovered from the mental illness that drove him to shoot Reagan and three others outside the Washington Hilton in March 1981.

This is what life will look like in Williamsburg for Hinckley:

Work
Hinckley will have to work or volunteer at least three days a week. He hasn't yet done paid work in Williamsburg, but he has volunteered at a church and a mental health hospital, where he has worked in the library and in food service.

Home
Hinckley's mother lives in the gated community of Kingsmill. The unassuming home is on the 13th hole of a golf course. Hinckley's room has a king-size bed and TV and is decorated with paintings he has done of houses and cats, according to court documents. In the past, he has done chores like cleaning, dishwashing, laundry and leaf-raking. After a year, he may live alone or with roommates.

Therapy
Hinckley will continue to go to therapy while in Williamsburg. For at least the first six months he'll see his psychiatrist twice a month and he'll have to attend weekly group therapy sessions. He'll also see a therapist individually. He'll return to Washington once a month to St. Elizabeths' outpatient department to discuss his mental health and compliance with the conditions of his leave.

Road Tripping 
Hinckley got a driver's license in 2011. The court order in his case lets him drive within 30 miles of Williamsburg by himself, which gets him to Newport News but not Norfolk. He can go up to 50 miles from the city if accompanied by his mom, sibling or a therapist or social worker. He can also drive to and from Washington once a month for his outpatient meetings.

Leisure
Hinckley has long considered himself a musician and an artist. He paints and plays the guitar and has been involved in both as part of his therapy. He'll continue to see a music therapist once a month while in Williamsburg. At court hearings in the case in late 2011 and early 2012, lawyers discussed the fact that Hinckley had recently developed an interest in photography.

There are limits to how Hinckley can spend his leisure time. He also can't drink or use illegal drugs. He can surf the web but, at least initially, he's not allowed to search for information about his crimes or victims, among other things. He can't have accounts on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube or LinkedIn without permission.

Voting 
Hinckley can register to vote in Virginia. He has expressed an interest in voting in the past and tried unsuccessfully to get a ballot in the 1980s and 1990s. Hinckley's lawyer, Barry Levine, told a newspaper in early August that he thinks his client will register to vote. Virginia's deadline to register for the November presidential election is Oct. 17.

Promoted Content

Write a comment

india-vs-england-2018
monsoon-climate-change