Kalamazoo Murder Spree Suspect Pleads Guilty to All Counts
A murder trial in Kalamazoo comes to a close before it began.
On Monday morning in Kalamazoo County Circuit Court, 48-year-old Jason Dalton of Cooper Township pleaded guilty to all 16 counts against him, including six murder charges and eight charges of committing a felony with a firearm.
Jury selection for the trial began Thursday and was expected to continue on Monday. Kalamazoo County Prosecutor Jeff Getting stated that before jury selection, an attempt to reduce charges was denied but would accept a guilty plea if Dalton accepted responsibility for the crime spree in February of 2016.
An insanity plea was also pulled last week after an independent forensic examination showed that Dalton did not meet the legal requirement for the plea.
Dalton was arrested the night of February 20, 2016, following three separate incidents across Kalamazoo County while working as an Uber driver. The first incident took place in Richland Township, where Tiana Carruthers sustained multiple gunshot injuries while protecting children in an apartment complex.
The second incident took the lives of Richard and Tyler Smith of Mattawan in the parking lot of a car dealership along Stadium Drive.
The final shooting occurred at the Cracker Barrel restaurant in Osthemo Township where 62-year-old Mary Lou Nye of Baroda, along with 74-year-old Judy Brown, 68-year-old Barbara Hawthorne and 60-year-old Mary Jo Nye of Battle Creek were killed. 14-year-old Abigail Kopf of Battle Creek sustained critical injuries.
Dalton is expected to be sentenced to life without parole on February 5th.