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US President Reagan’s would-be assassin to be released after 35 years

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WASHINGTON: John Hinckley, who attempted to assassinate US president Ronald Reagan 35 years ago, is to be freed from a psychiatric hospital to live full-time with his mother, a federal judge ordered Wednesday.

The court order places dozens of detailed conditions on Hinckley’s “full-time convalescent leave” from St. Elizabeths Hospital in Washington but said they can be phased out after a year to 18 months if he continues to make progress.

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US District Judge Paul Friedman wrote that Hinckley, who is now 61, no longer poses a threat to himself or others. He will be freed as soon as August 5 to live with his 90-year-old mother in her gated community in Williamsburg, Virginia.

Hinckley said after the attack outside a Washington hotel that he wanted to kill Reagan to impress the actor Jodie Foster, with whom he became obsessed after seeing her in the movie “Taxi Driver.”

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The attack badly wounded three other men, including Reagan press secretary James Brady, who though disabled went on to become a leading gun-control advocate.

Since the 1990s, Hinckley had been permitted gradually longer supervised home visits with his mother, lately lasting as long as 17 days. Members of Reagan’s family have consistently opposed Hinckley’s release.

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