LUBBOCK, Texas — A federal judge approved the unconditional release of John Hinckley Jr. next year, according to NPR. The change would take effect in June. Hinckley’s lawyers made the request to free him from all restrictions. Federal prosecutors opposed the ending of restrictions.
According to the Associated Press, U.S. District Court Judge Paul L. Friedman in Washington said during a 90-minute court hearing that he will issue a ruling on the plan this week.
Hinckley, 66, must follow restrictions and remain mentally stable in the interim.
Hinckley, a former Texas Tech University student, shot and wounded President Ronald Reagan and three others outside a Washington, D.C., hotel in a failed assassination attempt in 1981.
Reagan recovered from his gunshot wounds and died in 2004 after suffering from Alzheimer’s disease. The shooting paralyzed Press Secretary James Brady, who died in 2014. A secret service agent and a police officer were also wounded in the shooting.
Hinckley was suffering from acute psychosis, according to information presented at trial, when jurors found him not guilty by reason of insanity.
Originally, he was ordered to live at St. Elizabeth’s Hospital in Washington. Over the course of time, he was allowed more privileges. In 2016, he was allowed to live with his mother who then died in July.
Hinckley was quoted in a previous AP article as saying that he would continue to take his psychiatric medication and attend group therapy.
“Not a whole lot would change,” Hinckley said.