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Alleged I-96 shooter testifies in his own trial




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Raulie Wayne Casteel looks toward his family as he re-enters the courtroom the afternoon of Jan. 16, 2014. Photo courtesy of Lisa Roose-Church/Daily Press & Argus



Updated 3:25 p.m.

Questioning of the alleged I-96 shooter in his own trial ended Tuesday afternoon.

Alumnus Raulie Casteel, 44, was called to the stand by his defense attorneys as their only witness in the trial.

Casteel admitted to shooting at cars along the I-96 corridor in October of 2012, cars he believed carried government officials who were following him. When he and his wife and daughter moved back to Michigan in 2012, he said he began to associate oncoming cars with his conspiracy, which he admitted was a part of his delusion and paranoia.

Casteel also spoke in depth about his family’s history of mental illness, which Judge David Reader of Livingston County Circuit Court might not allow jury members to consider. Reader is reviewing a consideration to tell the jury to disregard all testimony Casteel gave pointing to his family history of mental illness because of a Michigan law that discredits such testimony.

Court will resume Tuesday morning at 9 a.m.

The trial of accused I-96 shooter Raulie Casteel resumed Monday morning on Livingston County Circuit Court in Howell, Mich. when the defense called its first witness — Casteel himself.

Casteel, 44, answered questions from his attorneys for nearly three hours on Monday afternoon. He testified that from 2007 to Nov. 2012, he believed he was being monitored and harassed by the federal government, even believing his phone calls were being monitored and helicopters were flying around his home.

The alumnus allegedly shot at 24 people in October of 2012 on the I-96 corridor, leaving one person injured. The incidents occurred in four counties, including Ingham.

He is charged with nine counts of assault with intent to do great bodily harm less than murder, nine felony firearms counts and terrorism charges in Livingston County alone.

The alleged shooter said he thought the cars he shot at were driven by government officials involved in the perceived conspiracy. He said he also felt extreme anxiety by a long line of cars stemming from his years of paranoia.

Casteel explained that his mother’s side of the family has a history of mental illness that includes delusional thoughts and paranoia. He attributed his thoughts to a diagnosis of paranoia and has since gone on medication.

In October, Casteel pleaded no contest but mentally ill for felony assault and weapons charges in Oakland County.

According to past State News reports, Casteel was found to suffer from delusional disorder as a result of an independent psychological exam. Despite the diagnosis, he was found competent to stand trial.

He will be sentenced on Oakland County later this week.

The prosecution will begin questioning Casteel Monday afternoon.


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