UPDATE (3:30 p.m. AP) – A man accused of killing six people and injuring two more during a night of random shootings has been ordered to trial on murder and attempted murder charges in southwestern Michigan.
Judge Christopher Haenicke heard a dozen witnesses Friday, including testimony from a survivor who says she sees Jason Dalton’s face in her sleep each night. Tiana Carruthers was shot four times.
Dalton heard the judge’s decision via video in jail. Dalton was dragged out of court by deputies after a series of outbursts during Carruthers’ testimony.
If convicted of murder, Dalton faces a no-parole sentence.
Prosecutors say he carried out the attacks between picking up and dropping off Uber passengers on Feb. 20. Police have quoted Dalton as saying a “devil figure” on Uber’s app was controlling him.
UPDATE (2:25 p.m. AP) – A 17-year-old girl says she witnessed the shooting of two of the six people who were victims in a series of random killings in Michigan.
Alexis Cornish told a judge that her boyfriend, Tyler Smith, was looking at a pickup truck at a car lot when he and his father were shot on Feb. 20 in the Kalamazoo area.
Cornish says she stayed inside the Smith vehicle while they looked at a truck, partly because it was a cold night. Asked how many shots were fired, she replied: “Enough not to miss.”
A judge is hearing testimony Friday to determine whether Jason Dalton goes to trial for murder and attempted murder. Eight people were shot at three locations. Six died.
Many courtroom spectators wore a button with a picture of the Smiths.
UPDATE: An outburst by Kalamazoo shooting spree suspect Jason Dalton in his preliminary examination has caused the first witness, survivor Tiana Carruthers, to lose her composure.
Our media partners at MLive report that Carruthers was testifying when suddenly Dalton starting raising his voice, talking about people “with black bags” and talking incoherently.
Carruthers, at that point, began to lose her composure and sob.
The judge called a recess until noon and Dalton was led out of the courtroom. He will not be in the courtroom for the afternoon session and will watch the proceedings from jail.
ORIGINAL STORY: A judge is holding a key hearing to determine whether a Michigan man will go to trial for random shootings that killed six people and injured two more.
Jason Dalton is accused in three separate shootings in the Kalamazoo-area in February, which authorities said he carried out between picking up riders as an Uber driver. A judge on Friday must decide whether there’s enough evidence to move the case to trial court.
Police have quoted Dalton as saying a “devil figure” on Uber’s app was controlling him the night of the shootings.
Six people were killed and a woman and a 14-year-old girl were injured on Feb. 20. Dalton is charged with murder and attempted murder. He’s been found mentally competent to understand the charges and assist his lawyer.