Michigan Uber Driver Pleads Guilty to Murdering Six People

Joel Bissell  Kalamazoo Gazette via AP

Joel Bissell Kalamazoo Gazette via AP

The man accused of killing six people in a shooting spree in Kalamazoo County in 2016 has pleaded guilty.

Four people were killed at a restaurant and two at a auto dealership in the shootings in the city of Kalamazoo. He dropped an insanity defense in court last week and was deemed fit to stand trial.

After his guilty plea on Monday, Dalton faces a life sentence without parole, Kalamazoo Prosecuting Attorney Jeffrey Getting said in a statement.

The victims in the Kalamazoo shootings, from left to right: (top row) Mary Jo Nye, Mary Lou Nye, Barbara Hawthorne (bottom row) Dorothy Brown, Tyler Smith and Rich Smith.

The Uber driver accused of going on a shooting rampage in Kalamazoo has pleaded guilty to all counts against him.

Dalton told a judge: "I've wanted to do this for quite a while".

After his arrest, police quoted him as saying a "devil figure" on Uber was controlling him on the day of the shootings. According to a police report, Dalton told authorities, "it feels like it is coming from the phone itself" and he didn't know how to describe that.

Jeff Karoub  AP FILEPolice tape surrounds the area of a random shooting in Kalamazoo Mich. Feb. 21 2016
Jeff Karoub AP FILEPolice tape surrounds the area of a random shooting in Kalamazoo Mich. Feb. 21 2016

"It took me a little by surprise 'cause throughout our discussions he was intent on going to trial", said Solis, WOOD-TV reported.

Bart Nye, who lost his mother and aunt in the attacks, said he wished the guilty plea came the same year of the deadly attacks.

"We're very happy that we're able to reach this resolution", Getting told reporters Monday. "Dalton then said that is why he is trying to tell us it is like an artificial presence".

Dalton has been in custody since the night of the shootings and has undergone mental evaluations. He was found competent to stand trial, but he's made weird outbursts at past court appearances. Deputies dragged him out of court in May 2016 after he spoke during Carruthers' testimony, and she broke down crying.

Dalton, the father of two children, had worked as an insurance adjuster and had no previous criminal record before the shootings.

Dalton's sentencing hearing is scheduled for February 5, Brower told NPR.

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