Hinckley’s Next Hearing Set for Feb. 25

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John Hinckley, Jr.

Federal judge Paul Friedman has ordered a hearing on John Hinckley Jr. to take place Feb. 25 at 9:30 a.m. in the Washington, D.C., branch of U.S. District Court. The order, issued Friday, is the latest chapter in the bid to secure more time for Hinckley at his mother’s residence in James City County.

Hinckley — who is currently permitted to visit his mother in James City County — lives at St. Elizabeths Hospital in Washington, D.C., where he has been a resident since he was found not guilty by reason of insanity in the 1981 attempted assassination of President Ronald Reagan. Three others were wounded in the shooting.

Court hearings began in November 2011 to explore the possibility of expanding Hinckley’s visitation privileges to include two periods of 17 days away from the hospital that would be spent at his mother’s James City County residence. If those visits were successful, there would be six periods of 24 days in James City County followed by a conditional release from St. Elizabeths to reside with his mother on convalescent leave with psychiatric services provided locally, according to court documents.

This effort hit a snag when the U.S. Attorney for the District of Columbia asked that Hinckley’s request to spend more time here be denied since Colonial Behavioral Health People’s Place, where Hinckley would receive psychiatric treatment while in the Historic Triangle, withdrew their intent to participate in Hinckley’s treatment. The participation of Colonial Behavioral Health People’s Place was a key component of the treatment plan outlined by St. Elizabeths Hospital.

Now it’s up to Hinckley’s attorneys and officials from St. Elizabeths Hospital to outline a new plan for Hinckley’s treatment here if they are to move forward with him getting more time in the area.

Friedman also ordered a number of already agreed upon measures to continue. In September 2011, Friedman approved a request from the United States Attorney of the District of Columbia for a protective order that prohibits anyone other than people directly involved with the case to view Secret Service surveillance data related to the case. Friedman ordered that to continue, according to a document connected to the case.

Friedman ordered the United States Attorney’s Office to provide Hinckley and St. Elizabeths Hospital with unredacted copies of Secret Service reports by Feb. 8. He also ordered a report from Dr. Raymond F. Patterson to be issued to Hinckley, St. Elizabeths Hospital and the court by Feb. 15 and a report from Dr. Robert T.M. Phillips to be issued to Hinckley, St. Elizabeths Hospital and the court by Feb. 21.

Patterson and Phillips were given permission to conduct examinations of Hinckley on behalf of the federal government in May 2011 to determine Hinckley’s mental condition. At that time, it was also ordered that St. Elizabeths Hospital furnish Patterson and Phillips with copies of Hinckley’s records, according to a court document from May 2011.

February’s scheduled hearing is the latest in a long line of hearings to try to get Hinckley more time in James City County.

In June 2009, Hinckley was granted 12 unsupervised visits to his mother’s home. Each visit could last up to 10 days; all visits were part of an effort to increase Hinckley’s independence so that he could eventually be released from St. Elizabeths Hospital to live with his mother. Those visits were exhausted by March 2011, so his attorneys and St. Elizabeths Hospital asked for additional visits in the interim until a new order was ready regarding Hinckley’s future.

Related Coverage

Jan. 16, 2013: Federal Judge Calls for Status Hearing on Hinckley
Dec. 29, 2012: Hospital Files Petition to Grant Hinckley More Time in James City County
Aug. 18, 2012: Local Provider Pulls Out of Hinckley Treatment, Prosecutors Ask Judge to Deny Longer Visits
March 31, 2011: Hinckley Lawyers Ask Court for More Visits to Williamsburg
June 16, 2009: Hinckley to Gain Driving Privileges, Longer Kingsmill Visits
May 21, 2009: Hinckley Wants to do Volunteer Work on Williamsburg Visits
July 21, 2008: Hinckley Doctors Seek More Visits to Williamsburg