John Hinckley's sister says brother should have more freedom

(AP, ABC7) — The brother and sister of the man who shot President Ronald Reagan says he should be allowed to spend more time outside a Washington mental hospital where he has been confined for three decades.

Diane Sims testified Tuesday at a court hearing in Washington for her brother, John Hinckley.

A jury found Hinckley was insane when he shot and wounded Reagan outside a Washington hotel in 1981, but doctors say his mental illness has been in remission for years.

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A judge has granted Hinckley increasing freedom from the hospital in recent years, including 10-day visits to his mother's home in Williamsburg, Va.

Sims says her brother "doesn't bother anybody" and "is not pointed out" during the visits. She says people in the town have been "very tolerant, very nice."

On Nov. 30, authorities said during the hearing that during unsupervised visits, Hinckley visited a Barnes & Noble store and looked at books on Reagan and presidential assassinations.

Hinckley's brother Scott Hinckley said he's never seen or heard his brother say anything violent or of concern. Letting Hinckley stay longer with their mother in Williamsburg would help him better assimilate and make friends, Scott Hinckley said.

Sims, who lives in Texas, was asked whether Hinckley might be better off living near her. She said others likely wouldn't approve of Hinckley being closer to her home in Dallas, where President George W. Bush bought a home after leaving the White House.

"When it comes right down to it we first need to consider the fact that President Bush lives not 10 minutes from me in Dallas," she said.