Legal Assistant Declared Legally Sane

Yes, the headline is designed to grab attention, but seriously, can I get certified legally sane, too?

Really seriously, congratulations are in order for California legal assistant and former Army Ranger Sargent Binkley, who is enjoying a fairy tale ending to a story that could have ended with a long imprisonment instead.

The Mountain View Voice reports that Binkley, who turned himself in after he stole painkillers from two Walgreens stores in 2006, was facing 12 to 15 years in prison after initially being found guilty on all counts. He had developed severe hip pain and PTSD after active service in Bosnia and Honduras, and was sleep-deprived, addicted to painkillers, and suicidal when he robbed the stores with an unloaded gun. (One of the pharmacists Binkley robbed was so not scared of him that he even wrote a letter to the court on his behalf.)

Binkley’s fairy godmother came in the form of attorney Charles “Chuck” Smith, a partner at Hartnett, Smith & Paetkau in Redwood City. Smith not only helped Binkley get a much lesser penalty consisting of a 10-month stint in a mental hospital after the court ruled he was legally insane during the crime, but also gave him a job as a file clerk in his law firm after he was released.

Last week the court declared that Binkley is a legally sane citizen. He has also recently been promoted to the position of legal assistant, and is thinking about law school.

Smith feels pretty good about Binkley’s commitment to his firm:

Smith said he got to know Binkley well during the landmark court battle, and Binkley seemed a good fit for the job when he needed to replace his file clerk.

“Obviously, for what I accomplished for him, I knew he was going to be loyal to me, quite frankly,” Smith said.

“If I said ‘Get your ass Sunday morning at 9 o’clock to do something,’ I knew he was going to be here because I’m the reason he’s not in prison,” Smith laughed. “He works hard for me.”

Practical Paralegalism wishes Sargent Binkley the best of success in all his future endeavors and is honored to share his happy ending.

Source: Mountain View Voice

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