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Ingham Co. Sheriff Reacts to Accused I-96 Shooter's Plea

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Photo: Video by fox47news.com

Ingham Co. Sheriff Reacts to Accused I-96 Shooter's Plea

By FOX 47 News. CREATED Oct 31, 2013

The man charged with the I-96 shootings last fall pleaded no contest but mentally ill to several charges in Oakland County this afternoon.

44-year-old Raulie Casteel from Wixom was arrested hours before election day last year.

Ingham County Sheriff Gene Wriggelsworth isn't surprised by the accused highway shooter's plea.

"Well I maintained all along there would be a plea in this case," Wriggelsworth said. "There was just too much evidence and too many charges against this guy."

The Cakland County Court told FOX 47 they're still trying to make sense of all the charges that were amended Wednesday. Casteel pleaded no contest but mentally ill to multiple counts of felony assault and felony firearms charges.

In Livingston County, Casteel still faces a terrorism charge handed down by Attorney General Bill Schuette. His office told FOX 47 they're confident in the case and prepared for trial.

Sheriff Wriggelsworth thinks that charge of terrorism fits the crime.

"He certainly did terrorize a lot of people for a significant length of time," Wriggeslworth. "We got a lot of calls from people who were afraid to drive on the freeway."

It's been just over a year since the shootings began on October 16. Casteel is suspected in a total of 24 shootings at drivers along the I-96 cooridor, spanning Ingham, Livingston, Oakland, and Shiawassee counties over an 11-day period.

The law enforcement task force formed to find him got their guy the night before election day on November 5, 2012.

"They all knew how critical this was," Wriggelsworth said. "It affected a whole lot of people in a whole lot of counties, and we solved it. That's what it really boiled down to, was good police work."

Casteel's sentencing in Oakland County is scheduled for January 30.

His trial in Livingston County is set to begin January 13.

He faces up to life in prison for the terrorism charge.

 

Click on the image and arrows above to view video and photos from the courtroom.