A jury concluded this morning that Sargent Binkley was legally insane during his armed robbery of a Mountain View Walgreens in 2006, a verdict that will keep him from serving a mandatory 12-year prison sentence.
The same jury found Binkley guilty of the crime late last month, but was given a chance to modify that verdict during the sanity phase.
Defense attorney Chuck Smith said Binkley now be evaluated by the county mental health department as to whether he needs to be hospitalized. Smith said there is a possibility that Binkley will be set free and receive only outpatient treatment for his post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and addiction to painkillers.
"He will not spend a day in prison, which is just spectacular," Smith said.
Family and friends were tearful after the verdict Tuesday, said Alan Lubke, a Vietnam veteran who has been following the trial.
Before the sanity phase of the trial began, the jury had found Binkley guilty of the armed robbery, which he committed in January 2006 at the Walgreens pharmacy on the corner of El Camino Real and Grant Road using an unloaded handgun. Due to mandatory sentencing rules, he would have spent a minimum of 12 years in prison for the crime.
Binkley, 33, is an Army veteran from Los Altos who attended Los Altos High School and West Point military academy. Psychiatrists testified at the trial that Binkley developed PTSD during his time in Bosnia and Honduras and developed an addiction to painkillers after a hip injury that went untreated for years.