HOWELL (WILX)-- The accused I-96 shooter, Raulie Casteel, is facing life in prison after being found guilty of terrorism and other charges Wednesday.
The jury deliberated for more than nine hours before they came up with a verdict around 4 pm Wednesday. The jury found Casteel guilty of terrorism, but not for assault with intent to murder. The assault charge was reduced by the jury to felonious assault. Casteel was found guilty of seven charges total.
The Wixom man didn't deny shooting at several cars in 4 counties back in October 2012 when he took the stand in his defense Monday. He claimed it was the result of mental illness and paranoia that made him irrational, thinking the government was after him. But the jury didn't find his mental illness as an excuse.
Raulie Casteel had little expression when the verdict was read. Guilty of terrorism, but for his family it was devastating.
They knew he was guilty of the shooting but where hoping the jury would see him as a father who needs help, not a terrorist who could spend the rest of his life behind bars.
"We're disappointed they accepted the prosecutors case of terrorism," said Douglas Mullkoff, Casteel's attorney.
For one of the victims, Jennifer Kupiec, hearing the guilty verdict brings closure.
"There's not a day that goes by that I don't think about it. I have to take I-96 to work and I think about it every time I get on that hwy."
She and her family will never be able to forget how she was a second away from death, but at this time there thoughts are with the Casteel family.
"In the end there are no winners. His whole family is destroyed through his actions. I have a lot of sympathy for the family," said Kelly Kupiec, Jennifer's mother.
Detective Ron Moore with the Wixom Police Department, who's been investigating the shooting since it began, will also be able to breath a little easier now that the case is nearing an end.
" I'm satisfied. It's a relief that this portion of the judicial process is done," said Moore.
He didn't do it alone. The outcome was because of the hard work from all law enforcement agencies involved.
The Attorney General thanked everyone for dedicated their resources to catching him before any lives were taken.
In a statement released, Bill Schuette said "Raulie Casteel committed acts of violence that terrorized our state in unimaginable ways, and today the victims of his shooting spree received justice."
Sentencing is set for March third. Casteel was due to be sentenced in Oakland county Thursday after pleading "no contest but mentally ill" to several charges there, but that's been postponed.