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

Judge to hear motions in Freeman school shooting case ahead of trial date later this month

Caleb Sharpe, left, confers with his defense attorneys after a hearing in July 2020. Sharpe pleaded guilty to murder, attempted murder and assualt charged on Thursday, Jan. 6, 2021, for the 2017 shooting at Freeman High School.   (Jesse Tinsley The Spokesman-Review)
Caleb Sharpe, left, confers with his defense attorneys after a hearing in July 2020. Sharpe pleaded guilty to murder, attempted murder and assualt charged on Thursday, Jan. 6, 2021, for the 2017 shooting at Freeman High School.  (Jesse Tinsley The Spokesman-Review)

A Spokane judge is set to hear motions throughout the week from both the defense and prosecution in the case of Caleb Sharpe, the teen accused of killing one classmate and injuring others at Freeman High School in 2017, ahead of his trial scheduled to begin later this month.

Spokane County Superior Court Judge Michael Price is scheduled to hear motions starting Monday morning and continuing daily though Friday.

So far, the defense has filed multiple motions, including to move the trial out of Spokane County, the ability to question jurors individually and for additional challenges to prevent potential jurors from being selected, according to court records. The prosecution had yet to file any motions for review as of Thursday.

Multiple issues in the case have been appealed by Sharpe’s attorneys, but the Washington State Court of Appeals District III has yet to rule on any of them.

Most recently, Sharpe appealed a decision by Price barring him from offering a diminished capacity defense. Previously, Price denied Sharpe’s request to offer an insanity defense, saying the request was “very last minute.”

The defense has repeatedly argued that Sharpe’s right to present a meaningful defense “demands” he be allowed to plead insanity.

Sharpe faces multiple counts, including murder and assault, stemming from the Sept. 13, 2017, shooting that killed 15-year-old Sam Strahan and injured three others. Price has ruled Sharpe will be tried as an adult, despite being 15 when the shooting took place.

Since his arrest, Sharpe has remained in custody at the Spokane County Jail.

His trial is scheduled to begin Jan. 18 and could continue through March 15, according to the court schedule. He faces a potential life sentence if convicted.

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