I-96 freeway shooting suspect: I wanted to send a message

I-96 freeway shooting suspect: I wanted to send a message

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Raulie Casteel in court on Jan. 15. Raulie Casteel in court on Jan. 15.

HOWELL, Mich. (AP) - A judge has sent home a jury while he considers how to instruct them before they begin considering the case against a man charged with firing a gun at vehicles along the Interstate 96 corridor in Michigan.

Prosecutors want Livingston County Circuit Judge David Reader to tell jurors in the case against Raulie Casteel that they may not consider mental illness as a defense for Casteel's actions when he shot at two-dozen cars in 2012.

Defense lawyer Doug Mullkoff objects, calling the request "wholly inappropriate."

Casteel earlier Monday testified in his defense, saying he shot at cars because he believed motorists were engaged in a government conspiracy against him. The 44-year-old defendant told jurors he was filled with fear and anxiety while in traffic, most likely from an undiagnosed delusional disorder. Casteel said he never thought about the ramifications of the shootings, only that he wanted "to send a message to back off."

The judge and lawyers on both sides are expected to revisit the jury-instruction issue Tuesday before proceeding to closing arguments.

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