Raulie Casteel, the Michigan highway shooter who terrorized motorists along Interstate 96 in October 2012, received a prison sentence of up to 12 years from an Oakland County circuit judge who called him a "lousy shot."
The Detroit Free Press reported that Casteel,
44, told investigators at the time he was shooting at cars because he thought the drivers were part of a government conspiracy against him. He was eventually diagnosed with a serious mental illness that included delusions.
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Judge Denise Langford Morris sentenced him to 80 to 120 months in prison, plus an additional two years on a firearms charge. The sentencing concluded a plea bargain with Casteel and prosecutors in which he was allowed to plead no contest but mentally ill to nine counts of assault with intent to cause great bodily harm.
The sentece was the maximum he could've gotten after pleading mentally ill. The sentencing hearing is scheduled for next month.
Casteel admitted shooting at vehicles in Oakland, Ingham, Shiawassee and Livingston counties over several days in October 2012. Investigators told the Free Press that he could be responsible for as many as 23 shootings in those counties.
"Thank God you were a lousy shot because in this case nobody was actually injured," Langford Morris told Casteel Tuesday. "Mental illness is a difficult challenge, but it is something you have to seek help for before you engage in criminal activities."
The Associated Press reported that Casteel
is facing up to 60 charges against him, including attempted murder, in Oakland County.
Casteel's attorneys and family members hoped for a plea bargain that would have allowed him to receive ongoing mental health counseling, according to the Associated Press. Attorney Doug Mullkoff said his client was diagnosed with a condition associated with maintaining false, persistent beliefs despite evidence to the contrary.
Casteel still has another court appearance in Livingston County, where a jury convicted him of terrorism for shootings there and he could get life in prison at the March 3 sentencing.
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