NewsCrime and Courts


Belgrade man accused of shooting at law enforcement in 2021 pleads guilty

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Posted at 3:30 PM, Oct 25, 2023
and last updated 2023-10-25 17:30:35-04

John Patrick Binkley of Belgrade pleaded guilty on Wednesday, Oct. 18, 2023 to charges stemming from a 2021 incident where he was accused of shooting at a sergeant with the Gallatin County Sheriff’s Office, then leading law enforcement on a high-speed chase across multiple counties.

Binkley, 37, pleaded guilty last week to attempt to commit mitigated deliberate homicide with weapon’s enhancement, according to a press release from the Montana Attorney General’s Office.

In February 2021, Binkley shot at law enforcement at the I-90 interchange in Logan before fleeing the area, which turned into a multi-county police pursuit on the interstate involving several law enforcement agencies.

After making it to Butte, Binkley was identified by Butte Police and a chase ensued through town, eventually leading back to I-90 westbound.

Binkley was arrested after pulling over on the side of the interstate west of Garrison in Powell County. SWAT teams from Missoula and Butte were on scene with armored vehicles and eventually arrested Binkley without incident.

The Attorney General’s Office said in the release it was later discovered Binkley was suffering from mental health issues with a co-occurring drug abuse issue.

Binkley’s sentencing hearing is scheduled for Jan. 31, 2024. The state is recommending a 50-year sentence to the Montana State Prison, with 10 years suspended.