Fmr. Army captain declared legally sane

January 7, 2011 8:25:45 PM PST
A Santa Clara County judge on Friday legally restored the sanity of a decorated former Army captain and West Point graduate who had been found not guilty of armed robbery by reason of insanity.

Sergeant McGregor Binkley robbed a Mountain View Walgreens pharmacy in 2006. He ordered a pharmacist at gunpoint to give him prescription painkillers. Binkley says his gun was not loaded. He told police he was addicted to painkillers after military doctors prescribed the drugs for a hip fractured when he was in Army.

In January of 2009, a jury found that he had a mental illness aggravated by Post Traumatic Stress Disorder PTSD and found him not guilty by reason of insanity. Binkley was sent to Atascadero State Mental Hospital where he went through treatment for 10 months and then to a rehab facility at the Menlo Park Veterans Hospital.

Last summer, Binkley was released to his home where he continued his mental health therapy as an outpatient. He served his sentence but was still considered "technically insane." He petitioned the court to have his sanity restored legally so he could resume a normal life.

Binkley's lawyer told ABC7news this was a case where "the system actually worked."

Chuck Smith hired him earlier this year to work in his law firm.

"He's a bright kid, he's got an engineering degree from West Point, one of the finest educational institutions in this country," Smith said.

Binkley continues to go to therapy sessions administered at the VA hospital.

"I find some of them are helpful and I think it's always good to keep in touch with issues I'm still dealing with," he said.

Binkley says he has not yet decided whether he will continue working at the law firm or if he will go back to school, but he is in no hurry.