Testimony continues in sentencing of Freeman school shooter

Testimony resumed this week in the sentencing hearing for a man who killed one classmate and wounded three others at Freeman High School five years ago.

In September 2017, then 15-year-old Caleb Sharpe brought several firearms to school and opened fire on his classmates. Killed was 15-year-old Sam Strahan, while three freshman girls were wounded before Sharpe was disarmed by a school janitor.

Sharpe pleaded guilty in January to multiple charges, including one count of aggravated first-degree murder and three counts of attempted murder. Freeman is located about 10 miles south of Spokane.

His sentencing phase started last week. Defense attorneys are asking for a 20-year sentence, saying that would be appropriate due to the shooter’s age and immaturity at the time of the shooting.

Prosecutors are asking for a minimum sentence of 35 years and argue he still exhibits a lack of remorse and true understanding of what he did.

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On Monday, psychologist Dr. Craig Beaver described Sharpe’s home life prior to the shooting as "isolating."

"As his parents will describe, he became more and more reclusive, less and less coming out of his room," Beaver said, according to KREM-TV. "Basically, cocooning himself in his room during this period."

A report the school counselor made prior to the shooting had major red flags, Beaver said. The report indicated the shooter obsessively watched videos about Columbine and had access to guns in the house.

"I wouldn’t have let that go. That needed to be addressed aggressively," Beaver said. "A safety plan that included getting those guns out of there and locked up should have been number one the first time they met. Didn’t happen."

Public defender Brooke Foley has argued that Sharpe can be rehabilitated and deserves the chance to live a meaningful life after prison.

Spokane County Superior Court Judge Michael Price is expected to sentence Sharpe as early as Friday.