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First Name: Sargent
Last Name: Binkley



West Point
Graduation - 1997

Salvation! A landmark case for all veterans with PTSD and other mental disorders who find themselves in the criminal justice system!

March 26, 2010. Today Mr. Sargent Binkley was finally sentenced in San Mateo County, the second jurisdiction in which he had committed the crimes of armed robbery and drug possession. See SF Chronicle story by Henry K. Lee, March 26, 2010.

See a brief summary of the entire Binkley case in a few short paragraphs at the bottom of this section.
- Alan Lubke, March 28, 2010.


February 18th, 2009. Sargent McGregor Binkley pleaded no contest to one count of robbery in Superior Court of San Mateo County, CA. The San Mateo County DA accepting the insanity verdict of the jury in Santa Clara County, will formally sentence "Sarge" to five (5) years probation with credit for time following his release from Atascadero State Hospital. See Santa Clara County trial results just below.

January 13th, 2009. Sargent McGregor Binkley was found not guilty by reason of insanity guilty by reason of insanity in Case Nr. BB619426, Superior Court of Santa Clara County, CA. Because his crime involved armed robbery, Mr. Binkley was ordered to treatment at Astascadero State Hospital (ASH) for a minimum of six (6) months.

December 30, 2008. Sargent McGregor Binkley, "a West Point graduate and war veteran was found guilty on all counts Tuesday of robbing pain pills from a local pharmacy at gunpoint."

March 6th, 2006. Los Altos police responded to a welfare check/narcotics call at Sargent Binkley's address. "Upon further investigation, S. Binley admitted to robbing two local pharmacies at gunpoint in order to obtain the narcotics. San Carlos and Mountain View PD's Detetives interviewed and arrested S. Binklley for robbery. S. Binkley was booked into Santa Clara County Main Jail by Mountain View PD."

A BRIEF SUMMARY OF THE BINKLEY CASE
by Alan Lubke

Sargent Binkley committed armed robbery of two Walgreen's. He testified at trial that it was "do or die" to get the drugs to which he had become addicted.

Shortly after the second armed robbery, Binkley became seriously ill at his home where he was living with his parents. He had uncontrollable vomiting. His father Ed Binkley, aware of his son's history of seizures, called 911. Ed Binkley led police to stolen drugs in the trunk of Sarge's car. Sargent Binkley who opted not to be taken for medical treatment, was arrested for possession of a controlled substance and taken to the Los Altos Police Department for processing.


There were two phases to the trial in Santa Clara County, the GUILT PHASE and the SANITY PHASE.


The GUILT PHASE. The guilt phase ended in a verdict of guilty, to wit, two counts of armed robbery with use of a gun, and four counts of possession of illegal drugs.

The SANITY PHASE. Psychiatrists were appointed by the courts to determine Binkley's sanity at the time of the crimes. Both sides also called their own psychiatric witnesses. The sanity phase ended with a finding of not guilty by reason of insanity . There were a bevy of witnesses called by both sides and plenty of court-room drama. Some of the details:

Santa Clara County Assistant District Attorney Debra Medved tried to present Sargent Binkley as a deceitful person. She said he lied to the court-appointed psychiatrists. The lies she said included
his military service record, facts surrounding his hip injury, and his claims about what had caused his alleged "post traumatic stress syndrome" or PTSD.

Judge Linda Condron's tried doggedly to get the parties to get off the "character issue" as it regarded sanity, but was unsuccessful.

Binkley testified about a clandestine military mission with the DEA in Honduras. He said he shot and killed a young Honduran at a drug interdiction checkpoint. A witness for the prosecution, a former Army Commander of US Forces in Honduras, said it could not have happened. No witnesses were called by the defense to support the Binkley story, and in his closing argument, Defense Attorney Chuck Smith stated, "regarding the incident in Honduras, it is what it is".

Medved tried to present Binkley's service in Bosnia as non-stressful peacetime duty. Defense countered by calling a witness who was with Binkley when he went into a chamber of horrors mortuary and observed parts of bodies hanging from meathooks.

The prosecution presented what they called Binkley's "unsatisfactory" active duty performance. They highlighted his resignation made in lieu of a less than honorable discharge. Medved brought in Binkley's former Fort Riley Commanding Officer who had given him an Article 15 and who had initiated the "drumming-out" procedures. Medved even discussed Binkley's West Point performance of late graduation because of too many demerits.

Expenses rose on both sides. The public got wrapped up in the character issue and took sides in the press and on the Internet.

The Defense team of Chuck Smith and Ed Fernandez raised issues of prosecutorial misconduct. The "San Jose Mercury News" carried the story, adding it to other similar challenges facing the Santa Clara County DA at the time.

Again, the sanity phase ended with a finding of not guilty by reason of insanity .

I am Alan Lubke, a resident of San Bruno, CA,
a West Point graduate of the Class of 1961,
and this is my Web site.


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