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Freeman School Shooting Defendant To Stand Trial As Adult

Freeman School District

A Spokane County judge says 17-year-old Caleb Sharpe will stand trial as an adult for the fatal shooting of a Freeman High School student in September 2017. Three other students were injured.

Superior Court Judge Michael Price announced his decision this afternoon [Tuesday], He called it one of his most difficult judicial decisions.

Price said the preponderance of the evidence shows Sharpe meticulously planned the shooting on the second floor of the high school. Price said the defendant chose that site because he knew there would be a large number of people present.

The ruling came at the end of a week-long hearing, known as a declination hearing. Its intent is to determine whether a minor should be tried as a juvenile or an adult. In this case, Sharpe was 27 days short of his 16th birthday. Price noted that, had the shooting occurred a month later, the teen would have automatically been tried as an adult.

After the decision was announced, dozens of members from the Freeman community lingered in the hallway to talk and console each other. The defendant’s attorney, Bevan Maxey, called it a sad day. Maxey said, even though Sharpe admitted to deputies the day of the shooting that he was responsible, there may be still be a trial.

“You know, it’s always possible. He’s got a right to a trial and there’s a lot of issues that are still in dispute. I can’t really comment on it more than that," Maxey said.

He says his client feels remorse now, even though he admitted to sheriff’s deputies on the day of the shooting that he felt nothing emotionally during and after the shooting.

An arraignment hearing has been scheduled for August 16.