Bitcoin Cash Developer Who Took Armored Vehicle for a Joyride Found Not Guilty

Siamak Masnavi

Lieutenant Joshua Philip Yabut, a 30-year-old Virgina Army National Guard officer who took an M577, a U.S. tracked armored command post vehicle, and went on a 60-mile joyride last June, has been found not guilty at Virgina's Nottoway Circuit Court by reason of insanity.

A report by Decrypt has this to say about Yabut's programming background and work with cryptocurrencies:

"Joshua Yabut helped to code the main software implementation of Bitcoin Cash—BitcoinABC—and co-founded ZClassic, a failed hard fork of privacy coin ZCash. Before working for the National Guard, Yabut also worked as an unpaid software developer for Horizen, then called ZenCash. A statement by Zencash last year claimed Yabut had publicized a way of hacking the system, a 'vulnerability' he himself created. The project distanced itself from Yabut and his work soon after."

Apparently, on 5 June 2018, Yabut was in the field with his men in Fort Pickett, Virginia when he decided to go on an epic joyride in the M577 from the Blackstone, Virginia, Virginia Army National Guard installation. Around two hours later, he eventually surrendered in downtown Richmond, Virginia.

According to a report in Richmond Times Dispatch, Yabut, "entered pleas in Nottoway Circuit Court of not guilty by reason of insanity of unauthorized use of a motor vehicle and violating the terms of his bond," and was found not guilty of both charges on Monday (August 19).

The report also says that "Judge Paul W. Cella accepted the pleas after Commonwealth’s Attorney Leanne Watrous summarized the evidence," and that she "noted that clinical psychologists who evaluated Yabut determined he was suffering from psychosis and not legally responsible for his actions when he went joyriding.

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