James Brady’s Death Ruled A Homicide

James Brady’s death has been ruled a homicide by a medical examiner in Virginia, NBC News is reporting.

Brady, who died Monday at age 73 (see this Inquisitr article), died from the injuries he sustained in 1981, when he was injured in an assassination attempt on then-president Ronald Reagan. In the attack, Brady took a bullet to the head. The assault left him with lifelong speech and neurological problems, which included slurred speech, inability to control his emotions, and partial paralysis. However, in the ensuing 30 years, according Dr. Arthur Korbine – the neurosurgeon who initially treated Brady after the attack – Brady regained most of his speech and other cognitive functions, and was able to walk, according to Nature.

The ruling means that homicide charges could be leveled against would-be assassin John Hinckley, Jr., who was found not guilty be reason of insanity after the assassination attempt, and who most recently has been receiving treatment at St. Elizabeth’s Hospital outside of Washington. As of this post, it is unclear if murder charges will be pursued; although D.C. police are investigating the case, according to New York Daily News, NBC News correspondent Pete Williams states that the decision will rest on whether or not prosecutors think they can get a different verdict against Hinckley this time. According to Williams:

“There is no statute of limitations on murder in either the federal or state system.”

The ruling could make things difficult for Hinckley’s family. In recent years, Hinckley has been given furloughs, lasting several days, allowing him to visit with his family at their home. In recent years, the family has been trying to get him permanent leave.

John Hinckley, Jr. in 2003

During his trial, Hinckley’s lawyers argued that he was schizophrenic and was obsessed with actress Jodie Foster, according to the L.A. Times. He became obsessed with the actress after seeing her in the movie Taxi Driver, and believed that he could impress her by assassinating the president. Reagan survived the shooting, as did three other men who were shot in the assassination attempt: Brady; D.C. police officer Thomas Delahanty; and Secret Service agent Tim McCarthy.

After Bardy’s injuries, he and his wife, Sarah, became advocates for firearms control, helping pass the “Brady Bill,” which mandates federal background checks on firearms purchases.

On Monday, a Brady family spokesperson issued a statement on Sarah’s behalf, saying:

“She is feeling great about the sendoff that Jim is getting. She is holding up.”

Should John Hinckley be charged with murder for Brady’s death? Let us know what you think in the Comments.

Image via: Bing