Jason Dalton Michigan pleads guilty to killing Six strangers

0
36

Jason Dalton Michigan pleads guilty to killing Six strangers.

A Michigan man charged with killing six strangers between picking up rides for Uber pleaded guilty to murder on Monday, just before attorneys were set to interview jurors for his trial. Jason Dalton’s surprise move came more than three years after the shootings, which occurred over the course of a few hours in and around Kalamazoo.

Dalton pleaded guilty to murder and attempted murder over his attorney’s objections, triggering a mandatory sentence of life in prison with no chance for parole.

“Yes, I’ve wanted this for quite a while,” Dalton replied when a judge asked if the pleas were voluntary.

The 48-year-old Dalton answered “yes” to a series of questions, admitting he shot eight people at three locations. After his arrest, police quoted Dalton as saying a “devil figure” on Uber’s app was controlling him on the day of the shootings.

READ  Irish passport purposes surge after EU referendum

Four women were killed in the parking lot of a Cracker Barrel restaurant: Barbara Hawthorne, Dorothy “Judy” Brown, Mary Lou Nye and her sister-in-law, Mary Jo Nye. Rich Smith and his 17-year-old son, Tyler Smith, were fatally shot while looking at a pickup truck in a dealer’s lot.

Bart Nye, who lost his mother and aunt in the attacks, said he wished the guilty plea came the same year of the deadly attacks.

“As they say, the wheels of justice turn slowly, but waiting is hard. Not knowing what’s happening is hard,” he told CBS affiliate WWMT. “It still hurts every day, missing everybody.”

Abigail Kopf, who was 14 at the time, was shot in the head during the restaurant shooting and survived. Tiana Carruthers was injured in a residential area. Dalton had been deemed competent to stand trial and last week dropped an insanity defense. In court, he didn’t explain why he randomly shot eight people.

READ  Are you able to identify the England XI that misplaced to Croatia in 2007?

Dalton, the father of two children, had worked as an insurance adjuster and had no previous criminal record before the shootings. Prosecutor Jeff Getting said the motive behind the shootings is a question that “haunts us.”

“Everybody wants to know,” he said during a news conference after the court hearing.

Defense attorney Eusebio Solis said he advised Dalton not to plead guilty.

“But in speaking to Mr. Dalton, there are reasons” for the plea, Solis told Judge Alexander Lipsey. “There are personal reasons for him. He does not want to put his family through that, or the victims’ families, through the trial. It’s his decision.”

READ  We Know How 'Recreation of Thrones' Season Eight Begins—And It Sounds Tense

A gun shop owner said Dalton bought a jacket with an inside pocket designed to hold a gun just hours before the rampage. Shop owner Jon Southwick recalled Dalton “laughing and joking,” and giving a “one-armed hug” to the manager before making the purchase.

Following the guilty pleas, Getting praised investigators and others who helped during the case, especially Alexis Cornish. She was dating Tyler Smith and was in a vehicle when he and his father were shot while looking at pickup trucks. Cornish was “extraordinarily brave” to immediately get a phone from her boyfriend’s pocket and call 911, the prosecutor said.

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here