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Hinckley Plan to Escape Told by Prosecutor

April 11, 1987|Associated Press

WASHINGTON — John W. Hinckley Jr. wrote a letter discussing plans to escape from the mental hospital where he has been held since 1982 for shooting President Reagan, a prosecutor said Friday.

The letter, "involving discussions Mr. Hinckley had with people regarding escaping from St. Elizabeths Hospital," will be introduced Monday at a hearing on Hinckley's request to make an unescorted Easter visit to his family, Assistant U.S. Atty. John O. Birch told a federal judge at a hearing.

The letter will be among several Hinckley wrote in 1982 and 1983 that federal prosecutors will introduce as evidence to oppose Hinckley's request, Birch told U.S. District Judge Barrington D. Parker.

Birch gave no further details about the letters.

Committed After Acquittal

Hinckley was committed to the federal hospital after he was acquitted by reason of insanity of attempted murder in the March 30, 1981, shooting of Reagan, White House Press Secretary James S. Brady, a Secret Service agent and a District of Columbia police officer.

Parker convened the hearing to consider a motion by Hinckley's attorney, Vincent J. Fuller, to prohibit the government from releasing diaries and letters written by Hinckley as well as medical records it subpoenaed from St. Elizabeths Hospital.

Parker instructed prosecutors to inform Fuller in advance about what documents they plan to introduce as evidence to give the defense attorney advance warning.

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