WASHINGTON — A lawyer for John Hinckley Jr., the man who tried to assassinate then-president Ronald Reagan in 1981, sought Monday to prove his client can be safely released 30 years after the attack.
Hinckley, 56, was found not guilty by reason of insanity in the shooting of Reagan and three others, including White House press secretary James Brady.
Since then, he has been at St Elizabeth’s psychiatric hospital in Washington.
In federal court, Hinckley’s attorney Barry Levine argued that his client’s friendly and loving relationships, social and therapeutic activities and even hopes for a job showed he should be able to function in society.
He is asking the hospital to allow Hinckley to spend more time with his mother who is 85 and lives in Williamsburg, Virginia.
Asking therapist Carl Beffa about the patient’s relationships with women in the hospital including an engagement he broke off, the attorney asked: “Do these relationships elevate his mood, make him hopeful, reduce the risks?”
Beffa said he believed the relationships gave Hinckley “the opportunity of learning life.” He also said he favored parole for the patient, and the possibility of his working in a pet store that was said to have offered him a job.
“Ideally, it would be three weeks … to develop a relationship and also an interaction with the group,” Beffa said, referring to his possibly working and attending group therapy, guitar classes and volunteering at a hospital.
A prosecutor, Sarah Chasson, asked Beffa for an example of Hinckley’s willingness to join the Williamsburg community.
“I can’t think of any,” Beffa said.
Hospital lawyers and doctors filed a motion under seal at the end of July asking that Hinckley eventually be placed on “convalescent leave,” but prosecutors quoted it in their own filing, making it part of the public record.
A college dropout, Hinckley waited for Reagan to walk out of a Washington hotel where he had given a speech on March 31, 1981.
Hinckley fired his six-shot .22 revolver at Reagan, who was seriously wounded but recovered.
Brady suffered a serious brain injury and never was able to return to his White House duties. Wheelchair-bound for the last three decades, he is now an advocate for gun control in the United States.
The hearings were to resume December 9.
Michael Moore breaks down why Trump is ‘scared’ of The Squad: ‘They’re the force out there!’
Legendary filmmaker Michael Moore revealed why President Donald Trump is so scared of the women of color in Congress known as The Squad.
The Squad is made up of Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY), Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN), Rep. Ayanna Pressley (D-MA) and Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D-MI).
"So, Michael, when your political opposition tells you this is the play we’re going to run and the president underscores it, and they’re running this play, is there any — is The Squad blameless for giving the president a steady stream of oxygen and ammunition?" MSNBC's Brian Williams asked.
"I’m so glad he’s that frightened of them, both he and [Benjamin] Netanyahu are scared of them. And the reason they are is — and this is why Trump isn’t as dumb as he comes off," Moore said.
Trump has spent his vacation golfing, watching cable TV — and panicking about a recession: AP
While President Donald Trump has been able to golf frequently while on vacation in New Jersey, he may not return to DC well-rested.
"Trump has spent much of the week at his New Jersey golf club, many of his mornings on the links, his afternoons watching cable television and his evenings calling confidants and business executives to get their take on the market’s volatility," the Associated Press reported Friday.
"Though he has expressed private worries about Wall Street, he is also skeptical about some of the weaker economic indicators, wondering if the media and establishment figures are manipulating the data to make him look bad, according to two Republicans close to the White House, not authorized to discuss private conversations," the AP noted.
Rick Wilsons destroys Trump for ’punitive ‘dickishness’ and ‘performative assh*lery’ on HBO’s Real Time
Republican strategist Rick Wilson slammed the Trump administration on HBO's "Real Time" with Bill Maher on Friday.
Wilson is the author of the 2018 book Everything Trump Touches Dies: A Republican Strategist Gets Real About the Worst President Ever.
The GOP consultant said America needs to replace the "Goddamn oil lobbyist who runs the f*cking EPA right now."
"This is just punitive dickishness by these people," Wilson charged. "They're just doing this to be *ssholes, they want their base to be like, 'we're taking those regulations away."
"It is just performative assh*lery," he added.