John Hinckley, who shot President Reagan to "impress" actress Jodi Foster, may soon be released from the mental institution in which he's been held since 1981.
Hinckley was found him not guilty by reason of insanity and sent to St. Elizabeths hospital in Washington, D.C. For the last year, he has been allowed by a judge to spend 17 days a month at his mother's home in Williamsburg, a small city in Virginia.
On Wednesday, court proceedings will begin on whether to allow Hinckley to live with his mother permanently. He is nearly 60 and his mother is in her 80s.
The Associated Press on Sunday ran a lengthy piece about Hinckley, and found that few in the community know that he soon may move there.
'We can't prevent him from being here. He is still an American citizen,' said Bryan J. Hill, administrator of James City County. On the job now for seven months, Hill was surprised when contacted by The Associated Press to learn that Hinckley is a frequent visitor. His name hasn't come up in meetings with public safety officials, although every time there's a hearing in Washington, D.C., about his potential release, it does make the local news.
'I'm not saying that we should forgive or forget," Hill said. "We have to monitor, and hopefully it doesn't happen again.'
The AP also reported:
In hearings before U.S. District Court Judge Paul L. Friedman, doctors have testified that Hinckley's original diagnosis — psychosis and major depression — has been in remission for decades and that while he still has a narcissistic personality disorder, its effects have diminished. He takes Zoloft for anxiety and, before bed, one milligram of the antipsychotic drug Risperdal.
Psychological testing designed to predict violence shows Hinckley's dangerousness risk is "decidedly low," Hinckley's longtime lawyer, Barry Levine, said during the most recent set of hearings over his release that started in late 2011 and continued intermittently through 2013.
"This man is not dangerous. The evidence shows that he is not dangerous," Levine told Friedman, who was assigned the case in 2001 after the previous judge overseeing it died.
But prosecutors argue that "Hinckley's relationships with women remain troubling." They say he has had unusual romantic relationships with patients at St. Elizabeths and "once feigned a toothache to try to see his female dentist and looked up pictures of her on the Internet."
More recently, they cited a July 2011 incident in which he was supposed to go see a movie in Williamsburg and instead went to a nearby Barnes & Noble. The Secret Service, whose agents sporadically tail Hinckley while he is in town, reported he was observed looking at shelves that contained several books about Reagan and the attempted assassination, though he didn't pick anything up.
Hinckley then lied when he returned to St. Elizabeths, suggesting he'd seen 'Captain America.' A few months later he claimed he saw 'Rise of the Planet of the Apes' when instead he ate at Quiznos and again went to the bookstore.
'Mr. Hinckley has not shown himself ready to conduct the hard work of transitioning to a new city,' prosecutor Sarah Chasson told the court in 2011.