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Every few years over the past two decades John Hinckley has gone before a judge seeking more freedom from St. Elizabeths Hospital where he has been a patient since being found not guilty by reason of insanity in the attempted assassination of President Ronald Reagan.

Hinckley, now 56, was back in court yesterday asking to extend visits to his mother’s Williamsburg home to up to 24 days, and eventually transition to living full-time in the community. He is currently allowed 10-day visits away from the hospital.


Tyler G. Jones, director of psychiatry at St. Elizabeths, was the first witness called by Hinckley’s lawyer, Barry Levine, from a list that includes family members, doctors and therapists.


The government is vigorously opposing more liberty for Hinckley. Assistant U.S. Attorney Sarah Chasson in her opening told the court that during one of his visits Hinckley lied about going to a movie and instead was observed by the Secret Service going to a Barnes & Noble where he browsed book titles on Reagan and presidential assassinations.

Del Wilbur has the story here.