65°F
weather icon Partly Cloudy

Judge to release John Hinckley Jr. from all remaining restrictions

A federal judge said Monday that John Hinckley Jr., who tried to assassinate President Ronald Reagan four decades ago, can be freed from all remaining restrictions next year if he continues to follow those rules and remains mentally stable.

U.S. District Court Judge Paul L. Friedman in Washington said during a 90-minute court hearing that he’ll issue his ruling on the plan this week.

Since Hinckley moved to Williamsburg, Virginia, from a Washington hospital in 2016, court-imposed restrictions have required doctors and therapists to oversee his psychiatric medication and therapy. Hinckley has been barred from having a gun. And he can’t contact Reagan’s children, other victims or their families, or actress Jodie Foster, who he was obsessed with at the time of the 1981 shooting.

Friedman said that Hinckley, now 66, has displayed no symptoms of active mental illness, no violent behavior and no interest in weapons since 1983.

“If he hadn’t tried to kill the president, he would have been unconditionally released a long, long, long time ago,” the judge said. “But everybody is comfortable now after all of the studies, all of the analysis and all of the interviews and all of the experience with Mr. Hinckley.”

Friedman said the plan is to release Hinckley from all court supervision in June if all goes well.

A 2020 violence risk assessment conducted on behalf of Washington’s Department of Behavioral Health concluded that Hinckley would not pose a danger if he’s unconditionally released from the court-ordered restrictions.

The U.S. government had previously opposed ending restrictions. But it took a different position Monday, with attorneys saying they would agree to unconditional release if Hinckley follows the rules and shows mental stability for the next nine months.

Kacie Weston, an attorney for the U.S. government, said that it wants to make sure Hinckley can adapt well to living on his own after his mother died in July. Another concern is the impending retirement of one of his therapists and the looming end to a therapy group, which has provided a lot of support and social interaction for Hinckley.

Hinckley was 25 when he shot and wounded the 40th U.S. president outside a Washington hotel. The shooting paralyzed Reagan press secretary James Brady, who died in 2014. It also injured Secret Service agent Timothy McCarthy and Washington police officer Thomas Delahanty.

Jurors decided Hinckley was suffering from acute psychosis and found him not guilty by reason of insanity, saying he needed treatment and not life in prison.

THE LATEST
Up to 10K California trees to be removed; road to large sequoias closed

In the wake of California wildfires, upwards of 10,000 trees weakened by fires, drought, disease or age must be removed, work that will keep a nearby highway closed to visitors who seek the world’s two largest sequoia trees.

Pfizer COVID vaccine looks effective for young kids, says FDA

Federal health regulators said late Friday that kid-size doses of Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine appear highly effective at preventing symptomatic infections in elementary school children and caused no unexpected safety issues, as the U.S. weighs beginning vaccinations in youngsters.

Data offers glimpse of breakthrough risks for Southern Nevada workers

There have been more than 500 vaccine breakthrough infections of COVID-19 in fully vaccinated casino workers in Clark County, a number similar to that of health care workers.

Baldwin didn’t know weapon contained live round, warrant says

Alec Baldwin was handed a loaded weapon by an assistant director who indicated it was safe to use in the moments before the actor fatally shot a cinematographer, court records released Friday show.

Sheriff: Actor Baldwin fired shot on movie set that killed woman

A prop firearm discharged by veteran actor Alec Baldwin, who is starring and producing a Western movie, killed his director of photography and injured the director Thursday at the movie set outside Santa Fe, the Santa Fe County Sheriff’s Office said.

CDC expands COVID booster rollout, OKs mixing shots

Millions more Americans can get a COVID-19 booster and choose a different company’s vaccine for that next shot, federal health officials said Thursday.

FDA OKs mixing COVID vaccines; backs Moderna, J&J boosters

U.S. regulators on Wednesday signed off on extending COVID-19 boosters to Americans who got the Moderna or Johnson & Johnson vaccine and said anyone eligible for an extra dose can get a brand different from the one they received initially.

Items linked to Brian Laundrie, potential remains found

Items believed to belong to Brian Laundrie and potential human remains were found Wednesday at a Florida wilderness park during the search for clues in the slaying of Gabby Petito during the couple’s cross-country road trip, according to law enforcement sources and a Laundrie family attorney.

 
US likely to authorize mix-and-match COVID booster shots

Federal regulators are expected to authorize the mixing and matching of COVID-19 booster doses this week in an effort to provide flexibility as the campaign for extra shots expands.