WASHINGTON – A judge deciding whether President Ronald Reagan's would-be assassin can live full-time outside a mental hospital says it's a "very hard decision."
But Judge Paul L. Friedman says he knew he would have to make this ruling someday when he "opened the door a crack" to John Hinckley Jr. a dozen years ago.
The judge has incrementally expanded Hinckley's freedom since ruling in 2003 that Hinckley could leave the hospital for daylong visits with his family. Hinckley now spends 17 days a month at his mother's home in Williamsburg, Virginia.
The hospital and his lawyers say he's ready to live there full-time. Prosecutors want more restrictive conditions.
The judge wrapped up a seven-day hearing on Hinckley's freedom Tuesday and did not say when he will rule.