WASHINGTON – The man who shot Ronald Reagan seemed obsessed when stopped in a bookstore and looked at the books on the assassinations of Presidents and the Presidency of Mr. Reagan, according to testimony given in court on Monday.
John Hinckley, who shot Reagan in 1981 to impress actress Jodie Foster, was found not guilty of the attempted murder by reason of insanity.
He was detained in a psychiatric hospital in Washington for the past 30 years, but he received more and more freedom recently because doctors felt his condition had improved.
The hearing, held in federal court in Washington, trying to determine whether Mr. Hinckley, now 56 years old, can go visit his mother in Virginia for periods of about three weeks each time, and possibly live in outside the hospital.
The court case drags on for years.
On Monday the testimony of two Secret Service agents and an employee of a bookstore aimed at supporting the Government’s view that such visits are premature and that Mr. Hinckley continues to be potentially dangerous to the community.
One officer, Jason Clinkner, said that Mr. Hinckley seemed “obsessed” during a visit in October, in a branch of Barnes & Noble in Williamsburg, Virginia, to a shelf containing books about the American history, including titles on Ronald Reagan and the assassination of President William McKinley in 1901.
Counsel for Mr. Hinckley said that the diagnosis of major depressive disorder of his client is in remission for about 20 years, and that his diagnosis of narcissistic personality has been reduced.