PONTIAC, Mich. — A man who opened fire on other motorists in a series of attacks that terrified southeastern Michigan in October 2012 was sentenced Tuesday to more than six years in prison in the first of two related cases.
Judge Denise Langford Morris sentenced Raulie Casteel to serve from six years and eight months to 10 years in prison on multiple assault charges, as well as two years for weapons charges. The sentences will run concurrently.
Casteel, a 44-year-old geologist from Wixom, faced up to 12 years in prison after pleading no contest but mentally ill last year to those charges. He faces up to life in prison in a related Livingston County case in which he was convicted last week of terrorism.
Langford Morris, who is an Oakland County Circuit Court judge, admonished Casteel during the hearing in Pontiac, telling him, ‘‘Thank goodness you were a lousy shot.’’
‘‘The kinds of actions you engaged in . . . these are the kinds of actions that absolutely terrorized a community,’’ Langford Morris said.
Casteel declined to speak on his own behalf.
Casteel’s attorney, Doug Mullkoff, did say before the judge announced the sentence that Casteel was ‘‘very troubled’’ at the time of the shootings and didn’t wish his actions ‘‘upon himself or the victims.’’
‘‘Raulie Casteel did not choose mental illness. It chose him,’’ Mullkoff said. ‘‘He had no history of mental illness before this period in his life.’’
During the Livingston County trial, Casteel testified that he shot at the other motorists near the busy Interstate 96 corridor between Lansing and Detroit over a three-day period in October 2012. He said he did so impulsively and because of wild, uncontrolled delusions and paranoia, believing the other drivers were part of a government conspiracy against him.
The nearly two-dozen shootings, which took place in four counties, terrified the region for weeks. No one was seriously hurt.