A federal judge will now decide whether the man who shot President Ronald Reagan in an assasination attempt at a Washington hotel should be allowed to spend longer periods of time away from a D.C. psychiatric hospital.
Final arguments were made Thursday in the case of John Hinckley Jr., who was found not guilty by reason of insanity in the shooting of Reagan, his press secretary, a Secret Service agent and a D.C. police officer on March 30, 1981 outside the Washington Hilton.
Hinckely has been confined to St. Elizabeths hospital in Southeast Washington and in recent years has been permitted to spend 10 days at a time about once a month at his mother's home in Williamsburg, Va. U.S. Attorneys want his time away from the hospital to remain at 10-day intervals until he is accepted to a treatment facility in Williamsburg.
But attorneys for St. Elizabeths and Hinckley are asking that Hinckley's away time be expanded to 17 days per month, then 24 days, and he ultimately be released.
Hinckley attorney Barry Levine said there is no rational basis to believe Hinckley is dangerous since he hasn't done anything dangerous during his previous releases.
But U.S. Attorney Nihar Mohanty argued that there still are several risks, including that Hinckley has engaged in deceptions and that he has not spent much time socializing in Williamsburg.
Judge Paul Friedman said he would likely not rule on the matter before April.