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John Hinckley Jr., Ronald Reagan’s would-be assassin, released from mental hospital

WASHINGTON, UNITED STATES: This 30 March 1981 file photo shows John Hinckley Jr. (L) escorted by police in Washington, DC, following his arrest after shooting and seriously wounding then US president Ronald Reagan. A federal judge ruled 17 December 2003 Hinckley can make local visits with his family from St. Elizabeth's Hospital in Washington, DC, where he has been held. AFP PHOTO/FILES (Photo credit should read AFP/AFP/Getty Images)

This March, 30 1981 file photo shows John Hinckley Jr. (L) escorted by police in Washington, DC, following his arrest after shooting and seriously wounding then US president Ronald Reagan. A federal judge ruled December, 17 2003 Hinckley can make local visits with his family from St. Elizabeth’s Hospital in Washington, DC, where he has been held.  (AFP/AFP/Getty Images)

WILLIAMSBURG, Va. — John Hinckley Jr., who shot Ronald Reagan, arrived at his mother’s Virginia home Saturday after he was freed for good from the mental hospital in Washington, D.C.

A federal judge ruled in late July that the 61-year-old John Hinckley Jr. is not a danger to himself or the public and can live full-time at his mother’s home in Williamsburg, Virginia. He was released more than 35 years after the shooting.

Hinckley had already been visiting Williamsburg for long stretches at a time and preparing for the full-time transition. He’ll have to follow a lot of rules while in Williamsburg, but his longtime lawyer Barry Levine says he thinks Hinckley will be a “citizen about whom we can all be proud.”

This is what life will look like in Williamsburg for Hinckley:

Work

Hinckley will have to work or volunteer at least three days a week. He hasn’t yet done paid work in Williamsburg, but he has volunteered at a church and a mental health hospital, where he has worked in the library and in food service.

Home Sweet Home

Hinckley will start off living with his elderly mother in her home in the gated community of Kingsmill. The unassuming home is on the 13th hole of a golf course. Hinckley’s room has a king-size bed and TV and is decorated with paintings he has done of houses and cats, according to court documents. In the past, he has done chores like cleaning, dishwashing, laundry and leaf-raking. After a year, he may live alone or with roommates.

Therapy

Hinckley will continue to go to therapy while in Williamsburg. For at least the first six months he’ll see his psychiatrist twice a month and he’ll have to attend weekly group therapy sessions. He’ll also see a therapist individually. He’ll return to Washington once a month to St. Elizabeths’ outpatient department to discuss his mental health and compliance with the conditions of his leave.

Road Tripping

Hinckley got a driver’s license in 2011. The court order in his case lets him drive within 30 miles of Williamsburg by himself, which gets him to Newport News but not Norfolk. He can go up to 50 miles from the city if accompanied by his mom, sibling or a therapist or social worker. He can also drive to and from Washington once a month for his outpatient meetings.

Leisure

Hinckley has long considered himself a musician and an artist. He paints and plays the guitar and has been involved in both as part of his therapy. He’ll continue to see a music therapist once a month while in Williamsburg. At court hearings in the case in late 2011 and early 2012, lawyers discussed the fact that Hinckley had recently developed an interest in photography.

There are limits to how Hinckley can spend his leisure time. He also can’t drink or use illegal drugs. He can surf the web but, at least initially, he’s not allowed to search for information about his crimes or victims, among other things. He can’t have accounts on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube or LinkedIn without permission.

Voting

Once Hinckley lives in Virginia he can register to vote there. Hinckley has expressed an interest in voting in the past and tried unsuccessfully to get a ballot in the 1980s and 1990s. Hinckley’s longtime lawyer Barry Levine told a newspaper in early August that he suspects his client will register to vote. Virginia’s deadline to register for the November presidential election is Oct. 17.

Media

Don’t expect to see Hinckley giving any interviews. He’s barred from talking to the press.