Sign in to comment!


Crime & Courts

Man charged in series of shootings on and off Mich. highway pleads no contest but mentally ill

A man charged in a series of shootings on and off Interstate 96 in Michigan pleaded no contest but mentally ill on Wednesday to assault and firearms charges.

Raulie Casteel, who made the plea in Oakland County Circuit Court, faces up to 12 years in prison when he is sentenced on Jan. 30. Casteel still faces more charges elsewhere related to shootings last October.

"A key part of this agreement was that he was mentally ill, and that's what drove him to do this," said defense attorney Douglas Mullkoff, who has said his client was diagnosed with delusional disorder, a condition associated with maintaining false, persistent beliefs despite evidence to the contrary.

The 44-year-old unemployed geologist is suspected of two-dozen random shootings in four counties. Police said they matched his gun to bullet fragments recovered from victims' vehicles.

Casteel had faced 60 charges, including attempted murder, in Oakland County for shootings last fall in Commerce Township and Wixom, the Detroit suburb where he lived. Casteel had been scheduled to stand trial next week.

In a separate but related case, Michigan's attorney general is prosecuting Casteel on terrorism and other charges in Livingston County.

Mullkoff said he hopes Attorney General Bill Schuette's office will be interested in reaching a similar agreement.

"We're hopeful that, with the closure we've accomplished here, that they'll follow suit," he said.

Attorney general spokeswoman Joy Yearout said her office is confident in its case and is prepared for trial, which is set to get underway early next year.

"We'll let the jury decide," she said.

Assistant prosecutor Jeff Hall said he and Wixom police were able to contact seven of the nine Oakland County victims, and they all agreed with the plea deal.

On professional websites, Casteel described himself as a geologist and soil scientist with experience in environmental cleanup. He is a Michigan native who lived in Taylorsville, Ky., before returning to his home state last year.

After Wednesday's hearing, his wife, Erin Casteel, said her husband was sick.

"I would just say that Raulie is a good man who got sick, and we're hopeful that he can now get the help he needs," she said.

Trending in U.S.

Bank Rates

Loan Type Graph Rate +/- Last Week
30 Y Fixed Graph 4.17% dw 4.24%  
15 Y Fixed Graph 3.26% dw 3.30%  
30 Y Fixed Jumbo Graph 4.58% dw 4.66%  
5/1 ARM Graph 3.33% dw 3.42%  
5/1 Jumbo ARM Graph 3.73% dw 3.88%  
Loan Type Graph Rate +/- Last Week
$30K HELOC Graph 4.29% -- 4.29%  
$50K HELOC Graph 4.04% -- 4.04%  
$30K Loan Graph 5.09% -- 5.09%  
$50K Loan Graph 4.52% -- 4.52%  
$75K Loan Graph 4.52% -- 4.52%  
Loan Type Graph Rate +/- Last Week
36 M New Graph 2.93% -- 2.93%  
36 M Used Graph 3.46% dw 3.47%  
48 M New Graph 3.22% -- 3.22%  
48 M Used Graph 2.99% up 2.98%  
60 M New Graph 3.24% -- 3.24%  
Loan Type Graph Yield +/- Last Week
6 month Graph 0.35% -- 0.35%  
1 yr Graph 0.69% -- 0.68%  
5 yr Graph 1.39% -- 1.39%