A federal judge said Monday that John Hinckley Jr., who tried to assassinate President Ronald Reagan four decades ago, can be freed from all his 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.
Friedman said the plan is to release Hinckley from all court supervision in June if he remains mentally stable and continues to follow the court-issued rules that were imposed on him after he left a Washington hospital in 2016 to live in Williamsburg, Virginia.
Former Secret Service agent Tim McCarthy, who helped shield the president from the bullets from the Hinckley’s .22 caliber revolver, spoke on McKinley’s unrestricted release.
“I don’t have a lot of Christian thoughts for John Hinckley because he could have left my wife a widow and three my children without a father, but as a Christian, I don’t carry a grudge either,” McCarthy said.
When the smoke cleared, the then 25-yr-old Hinckley had fired six shots hitting Press Secretary James Brady, McCarthy and police officer Thomas Delahanty in the neck. Reagan was shot after a bullet ricocheted off the car.
Hinckley said he used the shooting to impress actress Jodie Foster.
McCarthy said he knew Hinckley’s full release would come and hopes it’s a decision that comes without regret.
“No one called me from the Department of Justice to ask me my opinion,” McCarthy said. “I hope they called the survivors of the Reagan family. But if that’s the opinion of the best of the best we have, then who am I to stand in the way. But they better be right.”