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Judge allows failed Reagan assassin Hinckley to live alone

By Sommer Brokaw
Judge allows failed Reagan assassin Hinckley to live alone
John Hinckley Jr. is flanked by federal agents as he is driven away from court April 10, 1981. The son of a former Colorado oilman, Hinckley was convicted in a 1982 trial that included evidence he shot Reagan in an effort to impress Jodie Foster, an actress he had never met. File Photo UPI | License Photo

Nov. 17 (UPI) -- A federal judge ruled John Hinckley, who tried to kill President Ronald Reagan in 1981, can move out of his mother's house and live on his own.

Hinckley, 63, has been living with his mother in Williamsburg, Va., since he was released from St. Elizabeth's psychiatric hospital in Washington, D.C., two years ago.

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U.S. District Judge Paul Friedman issued the 14-page ruling with many stipulations on Friday.

Among those requirements, Hinckley must live within a 75-mile radius of Williamsburg and maintain bimonthly contact with his doctors while continuing individual and group therapy sessions. He must also carry a GPS-enabled cell phone while away from his residence. His Internet use is restricted since he is not able to look up information about himself, his crimes or his victims, he cannot set up accounts on social media platforms such as Facebook or Twitter, and he must provide authorities with his usernames and passwords. He is also required to perform volunteer or paid work three days a week.

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He and his family members are also prohibited from talking to the media, a court document shows.

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Hinckley is also banned from having weapons or consuming alcohol or illegal drugs.

"This court finds that Mr. Hinckley will not pose a danger to himself or others if he is permitted to continue residing full-time in Williamsburg, Virginia, on convalescent leave under the proposed conditions," the order said, adding Hinckley has remained mentally stable.

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"Mr. Hinckley is now in his 60s. His mother is 93 or 94 years old. He's trying to live a good life, trying to salvage what's left, and to live a regular life like the rest of us. That's the objective," his attorney Barry Levine said.

Hinckley was 25 years old when he shot Reagan, U.S. Secret Service agent Tim MacCarthy, White House press secretary James Brady and police officer Thomas Dalahanty outside of a Washington, D.C., hotel on March 30, 1981.

A jury in 1982 found him not guilty by reason of insanity.

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Authorities said his motive at the time was to impress actress Jodie Foster, who is still among the people he is prohibited from contacting.

Brady became a leading advocate for gun control. The Brady law, which requires a waiting period for handgun purchases and background checks, is named after him.

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Brady's death in 2014 was directly related to the injuries he sustained in the 1981 assassination attempt, and a medical examiner ruled his death a homicide, but the U.S. Attorney for the District of Columbia decided not to pursue murder charges against Hinckley.

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