Reagan shooter, John Hinckley, can move out of mom’s house, judge rules

The man who tried to assassinate President Ronald Reagan can move out of his mother's house in Virginia and live on his own, a federal judge ruled Friday.

U.S. District Court Judge Paul L. Friedman granted John Hinckley Jr. the largest measure of freedom he's had since shooting and wounding Reagan and three others outside a Washington hotel in 1981.

Hinckley was confined for decades to St. Elizabeths Hospital in the nation's capital. Starting in 2006, he began to make trips to visit his mother, who is now in her 90s and lives in a gated community in Williamsburg. He moved in with her in 2016.

The judge wrote Friday that the 63-year-old Hinckley can now live within 75 miles of that city as long as Hinckley's doctors give their approval on the location.

Hinckley still must live under a long list of conditions. They include meeting at least twice a month with a social worker, a psychiatrist and a therapist. He can't own a gun or consume alcohol or drugs.

He's also barred from contacting his victims' families or traveling anywhere where there are former or current U.S. presidents, vice presidents and members of Congress. He must carry a GPS-enabled cellphone when he's away from home.

Friedman, who is a judge in the District of Columbia, wrote that a forensic psychologist and a forensic psychiatrist supported the changes to the conditions of Hinckley's release.

Friedman also wrote that "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."

It's possible that Hinckley could be granted even more independence in the future. His attorney, Barry Levine, said he'll request unconditional release for Hinckley. The next court date is scheduled for June.

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