The man who shot President Ronald Reagan in a twisted attempt to woo actress Jodie Foster has a girlfriend and is hoping to win his freedom to spend more time with her.
NBC reported that John Hinckley Jr. met the unnamed woman at a National Association for the Mentally Ill meeting.
Now 59, he has been institutionalized since being found not guilty by reason of insanity for wounding President Reagan, a Secret Service agent, a police officer and press secretary James Brady in 1981.
Here’s what you need to know about Hinckley’s bid for freedom after nearly 35 years:
1. He Already Spends Half of Each Month Living With His Mother
Hinckley is currently allowed to spend 17 days a month at the home of his mother, Joann, who lives at the Kingsmill golf resort at Williamsburg, Va. The rest of the time he lives at amental hospital in Washington.
His brother, Scott, testified that Hinckley’s girlfriend was “somewhat compatible” although he said he hadn’t actually met her.
2. The Government Opposes His Full-Time Release
Prosecutors worry what will happen to Hinckley when his elderly mother dies.
They also claim Hinckley violated the terms of his partial release by visiting a bookstore rather than go to the movies as he told his handlers. That wouldn’t be such a concern if it wasn’t that he was seen checking out books on past presidents.
“Now is not the time to release the reins,” says prosecutor Colleen Kennedy.
3. His Lawyer Claims He is ‘Clinically Ready’
His family and doctors insist Hinckley’s a cured man.
He has been in “full and stable remission” for more than two decades, his lawyer Barry Levine argued in federal court on Wednesday.
Levine argues that Hinckley, found not guilty by reason of insanity for his 1981 assassination attempt on Reagan, is “clinically ready” to resume living full time outside St. Elizabeths Hospital in Washington, where he has been treated for more than three decades.
4. He’s Not Allowed to Go Near the President or a Member of Congress
On his home visits, Hinckley is allowed to go outside, to restaurants and stores, and is often tailed by Secret Service agents. He is not allowed to be near the president or members of Congress.
Under his current restrictions, Hinckley is able to drive a car but is limited to going to places where he is expected. He is not allowed to talk to the media. He is allowed daily walks and unsupervised outings of up to four hours. He is required to carry a GPS-enabled cellphone so his movements can be tracked.
5. He Wanted to Impress Jodie Foster by Shooting the President & ‘Sacrificing My Freedom & Possibly My Life’
Hinckley was 25 when Reagan was seriously wounded and the president’s press secretary, James Brady, suffered a grave bullet wound to the head.
Hinckley is 59 now and turns 60 in late May.