Not sure he should ever get out.
The last man to shoot an American president now spends most of the year in a house overlooking the 13th hole of a golf course in a gated community.
He takes long walks along tree-lined paths, plays guitar and paints, grabs fast food at Wendy’s. He drives around town in a silver Toyota Avalon, a car that wouldn’t attract a second glance. Often, as if to avoid detection, he puts on a hat or visor before going out.
These days, John Hinckley Jr. lives much of the year like any average Joe: shopping, eating out, watching movies at a local Regal Cinemas.
Hinckley was just 25 when he shot President Ronald Reagan and three others in 1981, and when jurors found him not guilty by reason of insanity they said he needed treatment, not a lifetime in confinement. The verdict left open the possibility that he would one day live outside a mental hospital.
For the past year, under a judge’s order, Hinckley has spent 17 days a month at his mother’s home in Williamsburg, a small southeastern Virginia city known for its colonial roots. Freedom has come in stages and with strict requirements: meeting regularly while in town with both a psychiatrist and a therapist, getting a volunteer job. It has all been part of a lengthy process meant to reintegrate Hinckley, now nearing 60, back into society.
On Wednesday, court hearings are set to begin on whether to expand Hinckley’s time in Williamsburg further. His doctors’ recommendation isn’t yet public, but the latest plan could see him living here permanently.[…]
Inside, Hinckley’s room has a king-size bed and TV and is decorated with paintings he has done of houses and cats, according to a hospital report. Nearby homes are listed at around $400,000. Residents can play tennis or swim at three recreation centers.
The adjoining Kingsmill Resort has a spa, a marina and three golf courses. President Bill Clinton played golf at Kingsmill in the 1990s. President Barack Obama has also been to the resort, staying in 2012 while preparing for a debate. Secret Service records suggest Hinckley wasn’t in town when Obama stayed there.
One of the many restrictions placed on Hinckley while in Williamsburg is to avoid traveling to Richmond or “areas where the President or members of Congress may be visiting.”