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- NOTTOWAY COUNTY, Va. -- Former Virginia National Guardsman Joshua Yabut was found not guilty by reason of insanity Monday in Nottoway County court.
- Yabut, 30, made national headlines in June 2018, when investigators said he took an armored personnel carrier from Fort Pickett in Blackstone and drove it more than 60 miles to Richmond, with multiple police officers in pursuit.
- The chase came to an end in the middle of Broad Street, near City Hall, where Yabut climbed out of the vehicle and was taken into custody. He was charged with felony unauthorized use of a motor vehicle for that incident.
- Austin explained what she believes occurred during the June 2018 incident.
- "He was laboring under a mental illness that had him believing things that weren't based in reality,” Austin said.
- Nottoway Commonwealth's Attorney Leanne Watrous says right after the incident, Yabut was evaluated.
- "The psychologists performing the evaluations reached the same conclusion that Yabut was not sane at the time of the offense," she said.
- Four months later, investigators said Yabut violated the conditions of his bond by taking an unauthorized flight out of the country and researching bomb-making. He was found not guilty by reason of insanity for that incident as well.
- "He did not have the mental capacity to understand the wrongfulness of his actions at the time that he took them," Yabut's attorney Amy Austin said outside of court. "[He] will be evaluated at Central State Hospital to determine what the extent of his mental illness is at this time and whether he's a danger to himself or the community."
- The evaluation is expected to be completed over the next 45 days.
- Yabut still faces charges in Richmond in connection to the June 2018 armored personnel carrier incident.
- His attorney is hoping those charges resolved in a manner similar to what happened in Nottoway County Monday morning.
- Yabut’s military status will be handled after all civilian court charges have been completed.
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