Graduation - 1997
A landmark case for all veterans with PTSD and other mental disorders
who find themselves in the criminal justice system!
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.
18th, 2009. Sargent
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.
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.
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
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."
BRIEF SUMMARY OF THE BINKLEY CASE
by Alan Lubke
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
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.
were two phases to the trial in Santa Clara County, the GUILT PHASE
and the SANITY PHASE.
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
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"
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
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 .