Charges in Jim Brady’s Homicide Could Prove Tough

Trying to bring a case against John Hinckley Jr. in the homicide of former White House press secretary James Brady could prove difficult for prosecutors, given the three decades that have passed since he was shot in an assassination try on Ronald Reagan and because a jury ruled that Hinckley was insane when he opened fire, an attorney and law professor said.

A medical examiner determined that Monday’s death of Brady at age 73 was a homicide, even all these years later, with an autopsy revealing the cause to be the gunshot wound to the head he suffered in 1981 and its health consequences, District of Columbia police spokeswoman Gwendolyn Crump said in a news release Friday.

Federal prosecutors said only that they are reviewing the ruling. But bringing new charges against the 59-year-old in Brady’s death seemed unlikely, at least two people said.

“I think it (the medical examiner’s ruling) will mean nothing,” long-time Hinckley attorney Barry Levine told The Associated Press. “No prosecutors will bring such a case. The notion that this could be a successful prosecution is far-fetched. There is no legal basis to pursue this.”