Hearing set for shooting spree suspect’s appeal

Kalamazoo Shooting Spree
Prelim Jason Dalton 052016_215923

KALAMAZOO, Mich. (WOOD) — Judges will hear arguments next month on an appeal in the case of the man accused of shooting and killing six people in the Kalamazoo area two years ago.

Oral arguments will be made before the Michigan Court of Appeals in Grand Rapids July 10. Both sides have already submitted written arguments.

Jason Dalton’s defense team is challenging the admission of some of the statements he made to police after he was arrested. The defense says those statements came after Dalton told investigators he didn’t want to talk to them anymore.

A Kalamazoo County judge previously ruled that some of the statements should be suppressed, but that most of them could be entered as evidence at trial. Dalton’s appeal was initially rejected by the Court of Appeals, but the Michigan Supreme Court said in March that the lower court must hear the issue.

Dalton faces 16 criminal counts, including six counts of murder, in connection to the Feb. 20, 2016, shooting spree in metro Kalamazoo. Father and son Rich and Tyler Smith, Judy Brown, Barbara Hawthorne, Mary Jo Nye and Mary Lou Nye were killed. Two other people, then-14-year-old Abigail Kopf and Tiana Carruthers, were seriously injured but survived.

Dalton, 47, of Cooper Township, is pleading insanity. He was working as an Uber driver the night of the shootings, though none of the shooting victims were his passengers. According to police reports, he told investigators that a “devil” showed up on his Uber app and controlled his body. He said the app would make different noises to tell him who he should kill.

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