Plans that would allow John Hinckley to leave a mental institution and go live with his mother are on hold. His doctors say the man who tried to assassinate President Ronald Reagan is well enough to deserve more freedom.

But a key part of the treatment plan is now up in the air.

Therapists in Virginia, near the home of John Hinckley's elderly mother, say they want to withdraw from a plan to treat him several days a week.

Hinckley's longtime defense lawyers say they want to quit too, because they're not getting paid any more.

U.S. District Judge Paul Friedman says the lawyers can't back out until the issue of Hinckley's ongoing therapy gets resolved.

The judge has ordered Saint Elizabeths hospital to either forget the idea of releasing him or provide more details.

The Justice Department wants Hinckley to remain in an institution because prosecutors say he hasn't changed.

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit