John Hinckley Jr. could be released from psychiatric hospital Friday

- The man who shot President Ronald Reagan 35 years ago could be released from a psychiatric hospital as early as today.

John Hinckley Jr. is preparing to be released from Saint Elizabeth's Hospital in Washington.

In July, a judge finalized Hinckley’s transition to freedom, ordering that he can permanently leave the psychiatric hospital where he was confined after the assassination attempt.

He will have to reside with his mother for a year. After that, he can live on his own, with roommates or in a group home in the Williamsburg area.

The order, which cannot be appealed, has been in the works for years, despite opposition by prosecutors, who sought numerous restrictions on Hinckley's freedom.

Hinckley, now 61, was found not guilty by reason of insanity in the March 30, 1981.

After his release he must attend individual and group therapy sessions and is barred from talking to the media. He can drive alone, but only within a 30-mile radius of Williamsburg, and the Secret Service will periodically follow him.

He also must return to Washington once a month so doctors can check on his mental state.

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