The lawyers representing John Hinckley Jr. today said they want to back out their representation, citing outstanding legal bills and the family's intent not to fund the attorneys any longer.
Hinckley has long been represented by a team from Dickstein Shapiro, including Barry Wm. Levine, the co-leader of the firm's business litigation and white-collar criminal defense practice. Hinckley, who attempted to kill President Ronald Reagan in 1981, remains hospitalized in Washington as he undergoes mental health treatment.
In court papers filed today in Washington, Hinckley's legal team said "the repeated hearings that the Government has insisted upon have been extremely expensive, even at the reduced rates that undersigned counsel has charged."
Levine wrote: "There are significant outstanding legal bills in arrears, and the Hinckley family has informed undersigned counsel that it will not provide future funding for attorneys' fees, expenses or related experts in this matter." Levine was not immediately available for comment this afternoon.
Hinckley's lawyers said in the papers that their withdrawal from representation will not "unduly burden" the case or hurt their client. The presiding trial judge, Paul Friedman, has not ruled on whether to expand Hinckley's conditional release from St. Elizabeths Hospital in the District.
Hinckley was in court last November for a series of hearings about the expanded conditional release. Prosecutors oppose giving Hinckley the additional freedom he wants, saying that he remains a danger to the community.
Hinckley's attorneys said last year that Hinckley has fully complied with the terms of a program that allows him visits with family away from the hospital.
Friedman did not immediately rule on the Dickstein team's request to withdraw representation. Levine said Hinckley has been advised of his options to obtain other counsel.