Interstate 96 sniper gets prison term in Michigan

Feb. 4, 2014 at 4:02 PM
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PONTIAC, Mich., Feb. 4 (UPI) -- A man who shot at cars on Michigan highways in 2012 was sentenced to over six years in prison Tuesday after pleading no contest but mentally ill to charges.

Raulie Casteel, 44, was sentenced in Oakland County Circuit Court to 80 to 120 months for assault, to be served concurrently with a mandatory two-year sentence for multiple firearms offenses, the Detroit News reported.

The sniper incidents, in which shots were fired over several days in October 2012 at cars in four Michigan counties along Interstate 96, put motorists on edge and led to the formation of a multi-agency police task force. Casteel was arrested after a handgun discovered in his home matched a weapon used to fire bullets found in several vehicles struck by gunfire, the newspaper said.

Casteel, an unemployed geologist, testified last month he felt blackballed for employment, claiming a conspiracy between a former employer and the U.S. government led to monitoring of his home and family by helicopters flying overhead.

He added "advanced technologies" caused his wife to suffer two miscarriages, caused his daughter, 3, to develop a rash and killed the family cat.

A plea of no contest but mentally ill is treated as a guilty plea but requires Casteel receive psychiatric care and medication while in prison.

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