- The Washington Times - Wednesday, November 26, 2003

Sarah Brady, the wife of former Reagan press secretary James T. Brady, has urged a federal judge to refuse outings without professional supervision from St. Elizabeths Hospital for would-be assassin John W. Hinckley Jr.

“I cannot say at this juncture I feel confident or even comfortable that he has not, yet again, fooled the doctors and his family,” Mrs. Brady wrote to U.S. District Judge Paul L. Friedman.

Her appeal matches those of U.S. attorneys who have said that Hinckley has a “history of deception and violence” and that his writings have fooled psychiatrists. They note that he has praised Nazi leader Adolf Hitler and written to serial killer Ted Bundy and mass murderer Charles Manson.

Those deceptions came out in 1982 as he was found not guilty by reason of insanity for wounding President Reagan, Mr. Brady, Metropolitan Police Officer Thomas K. Delahanty and Secret Service Agent Timothy J. McCarthy on March 30, 1981, in a shooting in front of the Washington Hilton in Northwest.

A mental-health specialist testified yesterday in the fourth day of hearings about allowing Hinckley to be supervised by his parents for one-day outings, then one-night outings from St. Elizabeths. For several years, he has gone on scores of outings supervised by hospital personnel.

Hinckley’s attorneys and U.S. attorneys will return to Judge Friedman’s court next week for closing arguments. Judge Friedman said yesterday that he would announce his decision “early in December.”

Paul Montalbano, a psychologist and pretrial chief at St. Elizabeths, testified yesterday that he and all other psychologists, psychiatrists and mental-health specialists agree that Hinckley’s psychoses — narcissistic personality disorder and depression — are in remission. As result, they all approve of conditional releases with his parents, JoAnn and John “Jack” W. Hinckley, as supervisors.

“My conclusion is that under those conditions, he would not be a risk to himself or others,” Mr. Montalbano testified.

Mr. Montalbano is a member of the St. Elizabeths Board of Review, which met in emergency session for three hours on Monday to detail instructions and prohibitions for parent-supervised releases from the hospital. At first, the releases would be limited to a 50-mile radius from the hospital. If those releases are successful, Hinckley might be released for longer visits to his parents’ home in Williamsburg.

Mr. Montalbano confirmed that Hinckley was an avid reader and writer before and during his early years in the hospital. Mental-health analysts reviewed his writing and books that he read.

Under questioning by assistant U.S. Attorney Robert R. Chapman, Mr. Montalbano said he asked Hinckley why he gave up his two main hobbies.

“If I do something and it gets me in trouble, I’m not going to do it anymore,” the psychologist quoted Hinckley as saying.

“He doesn’t reveal himself to the world,” Mr. Montalbano said.

In her letter, Mrs. Brady wrote, “While I am a great believer in mental illness rehabilitation, it goes without saying that the field of psychiatry is an inexact science.

“Mr. Hinckley throughout his lifetime has demonstrated both a history of lying and deceiving others. He has been extraordinarily crafty on many occasions. In the past he has lied to and fooled his parents, his doctors and law enforcement.”

Mrs. Brady’s husband was wounded gravely in the assassination attempt.

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