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Posted at 02:27 PM ET, 12/05/2011

At Hinckley hearings, occasional struggles tracking the women in his life

If you’re following the court proceedings that will help determine whether would-be presidential assassin John W. Hinckley Jr. gets more freedom from his psychiatric hospital, you might need a cheat sheet to keep track of his friends and girlfriends.

To protect the privacy of Hinckley’s associates — almost all seem to be women — lawyers and witnesses refer to them by their initials. (Attorneys even refer to one of Hinckley’s doctors by her initials because her name is difficult to spell and say.)

This has led to some courtroom confusion.

First, there is “CB,” Hinckley’s former fiancee. They were engaged, according to testimony, but then Hinckley called it off. He has told treatment providers that he gave her a ring he thought looked like the one Prince William gave to Kate Middleton.

Then there is “CB2 or CB squared,” a female friend of Mr. Hinckley’s who has the same initials as his former fiance. She works at Eastern State Hospital in Williamsburg, where Hinckley volunteers in the library when living with his mother on visits to her Virginia home. He gave her one of his paintings.

“She holds a nice conversation,” testified Hinckley’s psychiatrist in Williamsburg, Dr. Deborah Giorgi-Guarnieri. (She’s known by lawyers as “Dr. GG.”). Dr. GG believes this is a good relationship for Hinckley because CB2 “has good boundaries and is friendly.”

And then there is “Miss G,” Hinckley’s old girlfriend, who saw Hinckley while also having a live-in boyfriend. According to testimony, this relationship apparently ended in 2008, in part because “Miss G” was apprehensive about looming hearings that year that would delve into her relationship with the presidential assailant.

After the relationship ended, Miss G moved to France. She has since returned – without her boyfriend, according to testimony.

In September, she gave Hinckley back one of his guitars. (Hinckley plays the guitar and once thought of himself as a potential songwriter.) Hinckley seemed happy that she returned: Ms. G is “back in the picture,” Hinckley reportedly told one of his doctors, adding that his former girlfriend “has it going on.”

All these initials caused some bafflement in the courtroom gallery on Thursday when testimony shifted to whether Hinckley had invited multiple girlfriends to a holiday party in 2008.

“And in addition to Miss G, he invited two other women to the Christmas party as well, right? Miss C.G. and Ms. D.B., right?” federal prosecutor Sarah Chasson asked Katherine Murphy, a St. Elizabeths’ psychologist.

“Miss G and who?” asked U.S. District Judge Paul L. Friedman.

“Ms. D.B,” Murphy replied.

“And that would probably be a bad idea whether you were mentally ill or not,” Friedman said to guffaws.

“This would be poor judgment by anybody to invite three women — one of whom at least was a former romantic love interest — to the same Christmas party, right?” Chasson asked.

“Yes,” said Murphy.

But it appears that the initials may have confused Chasson. Miss G and Miss C.G. were the same person, and Hinckley only invited two women to the same party.

It’s not clear if the women showed up or how Hinckley’s complicated love life will affect Friedman’s ultimate decision in the proceedings: whether he should grant Hinckley more privileges from St. Elizabeths, where the presidential assailant has been held since being found not guilty by reason of insanity in the shooting of President Ronald Reagan and three other men on March 30, 1981.

In recent years, Hinckley has been granted more freedom from the hospital and visits his mother for 10-day stretches unaccompanied by St. Elizabeths personnel. The hospital is now asking the judge to expand those visits to up to 24-day stretches. If those trips go well, the hospital would like the authority to place Hinckley as an outpatient in Williamsburg on a full-time basis.

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By  |  02:27 PM ET, 12/05/2011

Categories:  Del Quentin Wilber, From the Courthouse, The District

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