Man who tried to kill President Reagan may be freed next year

John Hinckley Jr, the man who attempted to assassinate US President Ronald Reagan in 1981 to impress actress Jodie Foster, could be completely free in June 2022.

According to court documents, a federal judge on Monday ratified an agreement between the Justice Department and Hinckley, who was released from a mental hospital in 2016 after more than 30 years of incarceration.

The rules of his court supervision, such as a restriction on movement and the requirement to carry a GPS tracker, will be fully lifted in nine months, provided he continues to comply with them and remains “mentally stable,” Judge Paul Friedman said at a hearing. “If he hadn’t tried to kill a president, he would have been granted full freedom a long, long time ago,” the judge said.

“Unlike the judge, we believe that John Hinckley remains a threat to others and strongly oppose his release,” the Ronald Reagan Presidential Foundation said in a statement.

Hinckley, now 66, shot the US president as he left the Washington Hilton Hotel on March 30, 1981. He said he wanted to impress actress Jodie Foster, whom he had seen in the movie Taxi Driver. One of his bullets bounced off the armored presidential limousine, hitting Ronald Reagan in the chest, close to the heart.

Three other people were injured, including James Brady, the then-White House spokesman, who was partially paralyzed and had speech problems.

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