John Hinckley Jr., the man who tried to assassinate President Ronald Reagan in 1981, is interested in moving to California to work in the music industry, his lawyer said Tuesday during a hearing in Washington, D.C.

Hinckley, 64, who has lived at his mother’s Williamsburg, Va., home since 2016, was not at the hearing, The Associated Press reported. A prosecutor said allowing him to relocate to the West Coast would give the government “great pause.”

Prosecutor Kacie Weston didn’t explain why the government would be concerned about such a movie to California.


In 1982, Hinckley was found not guilty by reason of insanity in connection with the shooting of Reagan the previous year. Three other people were wounded, including White House Press Secretary James Brady, whose death in 2014 was ruled a homicide. Hinckley cited his efforts to impress young actress Jodie Foster as motivation for the shooting.

Hinckley was confined to a psychiatric hospital in Washington for decades. But health professionals have said that the mental illness that afflicted the 25-year-old Hinckley all those years ago has been in full and stable remission for decades.

John Hinckley Jr. arrives at U.S. District Court in Washington in 2003. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci, File)

John Hinckley Jr. arrives at U.S. District Court in Washington in 2003. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci, File)

U.S. District Judge Paul L. Friedman has said he is no longer a danger to himself or others and has gradually allowed him more time away from the hospital.

Hinckley currently lives under strict conditions imposed by Friedman, including that he live within 75 miles of Williamsburg, have regular visits by mental health professionals, work at least three days a week and not speak with the media.

“Some conditions that are now in place don’t need to be in place,” Friedman said, not specifying which ones.

Music has long been an interest for Hinckley, who plays guitar, writes music and sings. He participates in music therapy once a month. Under the conditions Friedman has imposed, however, he can’t perform publicly.

“He’s got some talent,” Hinckley’s lawyer, Barry Levine, said during the 40-minute hearing.


In addition to music, Hinckley is interested in traveling, possibly to visit his sister in Texas.

“It’s been a long time since 1981,” Friedman said near the end of the hearing. “The question is what the next step is.”

The Associated Press contributed to this report.