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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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News >  Crime/Public Safety

Trial for accused Freeman school shooter moved to January 2022

UPDATED: Wed., March 31, 2021

Caleb Sharpe, left, confers with his defense attorneys after a hearing in July 2020. Spokane Superior Court Judge Michael Price on Friday denied his request to plead not guilty by reason of insanity in the shooting of four Freeman High School students in September 2017.  (Jesse Tinsley The Spokesman-Review)
Caleb Sharpe, left, confers with his defense attorneys after a hearing in July 2020. Spokane Superior Court Judge Michael Price on Friday denied his request to plead not guilty by reason of insanity in the shooting of four Freeman High School students in September 2017. (Jesse Tinsley The Spokesman-Review)

The teenager accused of the deadly Freeman High School shooting in 2017 will not face trial until next year.

Superior Court Judge Michael P. Price cited scheduling issues and reset the trial date for Caleb Sharpe to Jan. 18, 2022.

The decision was due to the courts “criminal and civil rotation and not because it was proposed by either the State or Defense,” according to court documents.

Sharpe is accused of killing Sam Strahan, 15, and injuring three girls in a 2017 shooting at Freeman High School. Price has determined that Sharpe would stand trial for first-degree murder as an adult, despite being 15 at the time of the shootings.

Sharpe was to be tried in June 2021.

Sharpe’s public defenders, Brooke Foley and Anthony Edward, told the court in January that they plan to pursue a mental health defense and would have expert witnesses evaluate Sharpe, according to court documents.

They also filed a motion to continue to trial due to issues with expert witnesses having the ability to safely interview Sharpe in accordance with COVID-19 guidelines, according to court documents.

The judge denied that motion but later granted an extension on when expert evaluations and reports would be disclosed to the court.

The defense is now required to provide their expert reports to the court in June. Prosecutors will disclose their expert witnesses in July and are required to have their evaluation of Sharpe done in October with those reports and evaluations due in December just weeks before trial is set to begin, according to court documents.

The last class of students that attended Freeman High School at the time of the shooting is set to graduate this spring.

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