Freeman shooter multi-day sentencing resumes on Monday

Caleb Sharpe
Copyright 4 News Now

SPOKANE, Wash. — Freeman High School shooter Caleb Sharpe will appear in court again on Monday, continuing his multi-day sentencing hearings.

The case stems from  Sharpe killing 15-year-old Sam Strahan and shooting three other classmates at Freeman High School in 2017.

Sharpe’s case has been delayed multiple times. His trial was originally set to begin in 2019, and at one point, his attorney stepped away from the case, citing unpaid legal fees. In Sharpe’s declination hearing, it was determined from the judge that he would be charged as an adult.

As his public defenders caught up in the case, the case kept getting delayed. A motion they filed last August in an attempt for Sharpe to plead not guilty by reason of insanity was denied and was set to go on trial in January 2022. Instead, Sharpe entered a guilty plea, admitting to charges of murder, attempted murder and assault.

TIMELINE: Freeman High School Shooting

Prosecutors are seeking a minimum sentence of 35 years for Sharpe. He is unable to receive a life sentence without parole because of a 2021 Washington State Supreme Court ruling. The court ruled that anyone under the age of 18 cannot be given mandatory life sentences for murder because their brain is not fully developed yet.

The defense is asking for a 20-year sentence for Sharpe, arguing he was depressed and suffered from mental health issues at the time of the shooting. They also argued that the school and teachers missed signs of him being in crisis before he opened fire.

They defense added that Sharpe is maturing and taking responsibility for his actions, saying a youth needs to have a chance to rehabilitate and “live a meaningful life.”

The State of Washington rebutted, saying Sharpe was a “typical teenage boy” and his mental state did not make him choose to shoot up the school. The prosecution argued that Shapre lived with a “typical, stable, non-abusive family.”

Friday’s court hearing was canceled, as neither the defense nor the state has witnesses. Multiple victims, including Strahan’s mother, are expected to speak in the upcoming proceedings.

READ: Freeman Shooter Sentencing: Day 1 Recap