WASHINGTON, Nov. 30 (UPI) -- The man who tried to kill U.S. President Reagan is seeking release from a hospital where he's been held since he was found not guilty by reason of insanity.
A federal judge in Washington is to begin a week-and-a-half of hearings Wednesday on whether John Hinckley Jr. should eventually be released from St. Elizabeth Hospital where he has been a patient since his 1982 trial ended, CNN reported.
Doctors at the federal mental facility in Washington petitioned the court for approval to grant Hinckley, now 56, convalescent leave if a series of extended visits to his mother's home in Williamsburg, Va., are successful.
In a court hearing two years ago, U.S. District Judge Paul Friedman noted hospital doctors' testimony that Hinckley's mental problems were in remission. The court has granted Hinckley greater freedoms during his incarceration.
In its response to the doctors' petition, the government said Hinckley was "a man capable of great violence," arguing concerns remain "that this violence may be repeated."
The hospital petition was filed under seal and unavailable to the public. However, the government said in response the motion proposes eight visits of 17-24 days each to Hinckley's mother's home, CNN reported.
After the home visits, the hospital wants "the sole discretion to place Hinckley on convalescent leave" without court review, the government said.
One of Hinckley's bullets wounded Reagan, who was rushed to a hospital for surgery. Hinckley's assassination attempt March 30, 1981, also wounded a police officer, a Secret Service agent and Press Secretary James Brady.
On the day he shot Reagan, Hinckley left a letter to actress Jodie Foster in his hotel room. Hinckley was infatuated with Foster after seeing her portray a child prostitute in the movie, "Taxi Driver."