‘Freeway Shooter’ Convicted Of Terrorism, Attempted Murder
HOWELL (WWJ) – The Wixom man known as the I-96 freeway shooter has been found guilty on all counts in a series of attacks in October, 2012.
Raulie Casteel was charged with terrorism and assault with the intent to commit murder in connection with two-dozen shootings along the 100-mile I-96 corridor through four counties.
Casteel’s sister sobbed in the courtroom as the verdict was read on Wednesday.
Testifying in his own defense on Monday, Casteel said he did it because he believed he was battling demons, and that motorists were part of a government conspiracy against him.
During questioning from his lawyer, Charles Groh, the 44-year-old defendant conceded that he fired at cars, but that he “absolutely” did not intend to hurt or terrorize any of the drivers.
Casteel told jurors he was filled with fear and anxiety while in traffic, most likely from an undiagnosed delusional disorder.
WWJ Newsradio 950 Legal Analyst Charlie Langton, who has been covering the case, said the defense tried and failed to convince jurors that Casteel was so mentally deranged that he could not form the intent to commit the crime.
“It’s very dangerous when a defendant takes the stand in his own defense and, in this case, it backfired on him,” said Langton.
“Low-flying helicopters, the government tapping his phone, his cats developing kidney disease because of some technology in his home? I mean, come on,” Langton said. “No jury could take him seriously, and obviously the jury didn’t take him seriously.”
Casteel faces up to life in prison at his sentencing.
Last year, Casteel pleaded no contest but mentally ill to assault and firearms charges in Oakland County in connection to related shootings that took place there. He faces up to 12 years in prison when he is sentenced in that case on Thursday. The mental illness plea allows him to get treatment in prison.