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150 Freeman community members will give victim impact statements Monday

The statements are expected to begin Monday, January 24 ahead of the Freeman shooter’s sentencing.

SPOKANE, Wash. — Starting Monday, Jan. 24, the Freeman community will get to share their victim impact statements in court. This comes after the Freeman school shooter, Caleb Sharpe, pleaded guilty to murder.

Spokane county Judge Michael Price and attorneys tentatively plan on spending two weeks hearing these statements.

Spokane County prosecutors expect 150 people will share their statements in person or over zoom.

"I think the sooner that we can start on setting these up and using the time wisely, that would be certainly something that the state would prefer," Kelly Fitzgerald, Spokane County deputy prosecutor said. 

Judge Price told attorneys he wants to be as accommodating as possible to give everyone a chance to share their statements either in person or over zoom.  

"This is a very flexible schedule," Judge Price said. "Frankly, the schedule is going to depend on not just my schedule, but it's an attempt to make themselves available. So Zoom is fine with me. Especially to set something so it can be in person. I want to be as accommodating as I can."

The shooter pleaded guilty to first-degree murder, three counts of attempted first-degree murder and second-degree assault as part of a plea agreement. His sentencing is not expected to begin until March.

Criminal lawyer and Gonzaga Law Adjunct professor Jeffry Finer confirms Sharpe could face between 25 years and the rest of his life in prison for the aggravated murder charge. But he said life without parole is not an option.  

Finer explained that under new federal rulings, if an offender commits a crime while under the age of 18, they cannot be sentenced to life without a chance of release.  

Sharpe was 15 years old when he opened fire in the hallway of Freeman High School in the fall of 2017. He killed classmate, Sam Strahan, and injured three other students.