The U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Columbia will not pursue criminal charges against John Hinckley Jr. for the death of former White House press secretary James Brady, the prosecutor’s office said on Friday.
Brady was gravely wounded in 1981 when Hinckley tried to assassinate President Ronald Reagan in Washington. He was incapacitated from the shooting for the rest of his life and died in August at 73.
A Virginia medical examiner ruled Brady’s death a homicide, sparking an investigation by District of Columbia police. Reagan, a police officer and a Secret Service agent also were wounded in the attack.
Since a jury in 1982 found Hinckley not guilty by reason of insanity, prosecutors could not argue that he was sane when he shot Brady, the U.S. Attorney’s Office said in a statement.
In addition, before 1987 District of Columbia courts abided by the “year and a day rule,” under which homicide charges could only be brought if the victim died within a year and a day of the injury causing death, the statement said.
After he was shot, Brady became a gun control activist.
(Reporting by Ian Simpson; Editing by Bill Trott)