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Caleb Sharpe sentenced to 40 years for Freeman School shooting

Doug Nadvornick/SPR
Caleb Sharpe appears in court in 2019.

Caleb Sharpe has been sentenced to 40 years to life in prison for killing a classmate and injuring three others in a 2017 school shooting.

Sharpe pled guilty to murder, attempted murder, and assault for the harm suffered by the many students who were in a hallway when he opened fire at Freeman High School five years ago.

The day of his sentencing, the courtroom was full, with dozens more watching online, or watching from an overflow room.

Before his sentencing, more than 200 people shared impact statements, urging Judge Michael Price to impose the maximum sentence. Some called for life in prison, or even the death penalty.

Washington’s Supreme Court says judges may not imposed the death penalty on anyone and may not sentence juveniles to life without parole. Sharpe’s attorney asked for a 20-year sentence. State prosecutors asked for 35 years to life.

Price sentenced Sharpe to 40 years, saying Sharpe meticulously planned the attack, and lied to his parents and a school counselor in the days leading up to the shooting.

“The person who planned this horrible assault, who so clearly intended to inflect mass casualties was Caleb Sharpe, and no one else,” Price said. “He took extreme steps to conceal his dark thoughts.”

Sharpe will receive credit for the five years he has already served. Prior to his sentence, Sharpe apologized to his victims, and to the mother of the boy he killed, Sam Strahan. He also asked for their forgiveness

Rebecca White is a 2018 graduate of Edward R Murrow College of Communication at Washington State University. She's been a reporter at Spokane Public Radio since February 2021. She got her start interning at her hometown paper The Dayton Chronicle and previously covered county government at The Spokesman-Review.