MYRTLE BEACH -- A man who injured a biker with his car then dragged the man's motorcycle for miles under the car was found not guilty by reason of insanity in circuit court this week.
Larry Jacobs, 69, was charged with assault and battery with intent to kill after his car, in 2006, struck the motorcycle of Makino Robinson, a U.S. serviceman who had served in Iraq, during the Atlantic Beach Bikefest.
Jacobs was evaluated by separate psychiatrists selected by the state and the defense, said Fran Humphries, deputy solicitor for the 15th Judicial Circuit. Both examinations determined Jacobs could not be held criminally responsible due to a mental illness.
Morgan Martin, the attorney representing Jacobs, said he was pleased with the ruling.
As a result of the court ruling, Humphries said Jacobs will be committed to a state hospital for 120 days to determine a treatment plan. Humphries said there will be another court hearing in that time frame to determine whether Jacobs should be sent to a halfway house, committed to a hospital, or can be released.
If not for the mentally ill determination, Humphries said his office would have sought a guilty verdict.
Shortly after the incident took place, Jacobs' daughter told The Sun News he left his Ocean Isle Beach, N.C., home without taking medication for bipolar disorder and manic depression.
Speaking Thursday, David Robinson, Makino Robinson's father, said he thought the ruling was unfair. He said his son, who suffered deep bruises and severe road burns, was mostly recovered. But he said his son is concerned the injuries could affect his military career.
"If you're on medication and you know that's your lifeline, you choose," said David Robinson, who lives in the Browns Ferry section of Georgetown County, of the ruling. "Nobody withheld it from you. You chose not to take it."
Martin said Jacobs could have been found guilty even with a mental illness, but the exams showed he could not held responsible for his actions when the incident happened.
"He has some mental deficits, and he has to be on his medication," Martin said. "When he does, he's fine. When he's off of it, it becomes problematic. He's doing well, and I think he recognizes in a manner that he never has before the necessity of it."
After the incident, a witness told police that he saw Makino Robinson riding in the right lane of U.S. 17 Business near Myrtle Beach State Park. Jacobs' car changed lanes, closed the gap and struck Robinson from behind.
Robinson then struggled not to be pulled under the car before rolling off. Jacobs then drove through four traffic lights to Surfside Beach before he was pulled over by an Horry County police officer, authorities said.
-- The (Myrtle Beach) Sun News