I-96 Shooter Says Drivers Were Part of Government Conspiracy

I-96 shooter

What happens when mental illness becomes apparent in an investigation?

The I-96 shooter, Raulie Casteel, a 44-year old Wixom man was in court again this week. Casteel told the court that he had thought the drivers that he shot at along I-96 were part of a government conspiracy against him.

Casteel became known as the I-96 shooter after he was arrested in November of 2012. In an article by the Detroit Free Press, Casteel’s crimes were described as,

“To ease his anxiety, he testified today, he pulled out his 9mm gun — kept unholstered on the floorboard by his legs — and shot at 23 passing vehicles in October 2012 in four counties along the I-96 corridor.”

Behind the Scenes

In the article that we published just over a year ago, I-96 Shooter a Stay-At-Home Dad, I shared what was happening behind the scenes for Casteel. The troubled man had struggled to hold or find a job. He and his family moved to Michigan to live with his in-laws.

Not Guilty Plea

In January, we covered the update about how Casteel had pleaded not guilty to assault and terrorism charges in the article, I-96 Shooter Pleads Not Guilty to Terrorism Charge. Major Joel Maatman of the Ingham County Sheriff’s Office had investigated the shootings and called the terrorism charge rare.

Demons, Fear, and Conspiracies

This week, Casteel testified about his mental illness. He said his paranoia started when he lived in Kentucky. He told the court about how he thought his calls were being monitored and helicopters that the military had sent were hovering over his home.


Due to there being 21 attacks and having shot at 24 people the prosecution pursued a terrorism charged against Casteel. If convicted, Casteel faced life in prison.

The I-96 Shooter Sentencing

From another article published by the Detroit Free Press, Raulie Casteel of Wixom convicted of terrorism in I-96 shooting spree, in the end, Casteel was convicted of terrorism. The jury sided with the prosecution’s argument that Casteel’s choice to shoot at the cars was deliberate and premeditated. He was also convicted of “related weapons charges, which include carrying a dangerous weapon with unlawful intent and felony firearms.” Now Casteel is facing life in prison. He is scheduled to be sentenced on March 3rd.

What Do You Think?

Could Casteel’s mental illness have contributed to his crime? If that’s true, should he spend his life in prison? Please share your thoughts in the comment section below.