Michigan AG's office to prosecute roadway shooting suspect

Michigan AG's office to prosecute roadway shooting suspect

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DETROIT (AP) -- The state attorney general's office will prosecute a man suspected in a shooting spree that targeted motorists in four Michigan counties last month and could bring additional charges, Attorney General Bill Schuette said Tuesday.

The AG's office said it had agreed to take over the cases at the request of prosecutors in Livingston, Ingham and Shiawassee counties.

Raulie Casteel, of Wixom, currently faces charges in Livingston and Oakland counties.

Schuette's office will lead the prosecution of the 43-year-old unemployed geologist in the Livingston case. The Oakland County prosecutor's office will continue to handle the 60 counts Casteel faces in connection with shootings in Wixom and Commerce Township. Casteel could be sentenced to up to life in prison if convicted of any of the eight attempted murder counts he faces in Oakland County, where many of the two-dozen shootings occurred.

Casteel first was charged in Livingston County, where he faces assault with a dangerous weapon and five other gun-related counts. Those charges stem from an Oct. 18 shooting on Interstate 96 in Howell Township, about 45 miles northwest of Detroit.

The attorney general's office said its criminal division will review evidence collected by a multi-jurisdictional task force and decide whether to bring charges related to shootings in Ingham and Shiawassee counties.

"I believe it is beneficial for the prosecution of this case and for the convenience of the witnesses to have a single source of prosecution," Livingston County Prosecutor David Morse said in a statement released by the attorney general's office. "It will provide a consistent approach to the case that is not possible with multiple jurisdictions handling multiple cases."

The shootings, which took place along a 100-mile freeway corridor between Oct. 16 and Oct. 27, kept area communities on edge.

Most of the shootings targeted cars near I-96, though authorities said one occurred while a man was taking out his trash. Only one person was hit, a man who was shot in the buttocks.

Ten shootings were in Wixom, where Casteel lived with his wife, daughter and in-laws.

Defense attorneys say he's a married, college-educated, stay-at-home dad with no criminal history.

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

Judges in Novi and Howell on Nov. 14 ordered Casteel to undergo tests to determine whether he is competent to stand trial.

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