The Slatest

John Hinckley Will Face No New Charges for Reagan Shooting That Killed James Brady  

John Hinckley Jr. escorted by police after shooting President Reagan in March 1981.

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John Hinckley Jr., the man who shot President Ronald Reagan and three others in 1981—just 69 days into Reagan’s presidency—will not face any new charges for the decades-old shooting, federal prosecutors announced on Friday. The possibility of new charges for the 59-year-old Hinckley arose after the death of Reagan press secretary James Brady, who was injured by Hinckley’s attack along with a secret service agent and a police officer. Brady, who was shot in the head, suffered debilitating injuries from the shooting and died in August 2014, more than three decades later.

A Virginia jury found Hinckley not guilty at the time of the Reagan shooting due to insanity and Hinckley has been in a psychiatric hospital ever since. The recent Virginia coroner’s report, however, ruled Brady’s death a homicide, attributable to the injuries inflicted by the shooting. “[But] U.S. Attorney Ronald Machen announced Friday that Hinckley won’t be charged, in part because prosecutors are barred from arguing now that Hinckley was sane at the time of the shootings,” the Associated Press reports. “A prosecution would also be precluded by law because District of Columbia courts before 1987 did not allow homicide cases to be brought if the victim died more than a year and a day after the injury.”