HOWELL (WWJ/AP) – A man charged with firing his gun randomly at vehicles along I-96 in Michigan is expected to testify in his own defense Monday.
Raulie Casteel’s attorneys detailed the plans earlier this week, saying the accused shooter will likely be the defense’s only witness.
The 44-year-old Casteel is contesting terrorism and assault charges in connection with the two dozen shootings along a 100-mile corridor in October 2012. Police say they matched Casteel’s gun to bullet fragments recovered from victims’ vehicles in four counties.
Describing his client as an experienced hunter and target shooter, defense attorney Charles Groh said Casteel “was chasing demons” when the shootings occurred, but he wasn’t trying to hurt anyone.
“He can shoot where he aims,” Groh said. “He’s not 0 for 23 for nothing.”
Out of all the shootings, only one person suffered a minor injury. Scott Arnold was on his way to the World Series in Detroit when he was shot on I-96 in Fowlerville. Arnold said he heard a loud explosion that he thought was a tire blowout and then felt a pain in his side. He stopped and saw a bullet hole in the vehicle and blood. The bullet struck him in the buttocks, narrowly missing an artery and major nerves.
Michigan Assistant Attorney General Gregory Townsend told jurors a different story, saying Casteel was trying to shoot people in the vehicles he targeted.
Jennifer Kubiak, an owner of a Subway shop in Brighton, was “only milliseconds away” from dying when a bullet from Casteel’s handgun traveled through the door handle and embedded into the passenger door as she drove to Lansing to visit a friend, Townsend said.
Casteel pleaded no contest in November to related charges in Oakland County and is awaiting sentencing on Jan. 30.
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