SPOKANE, Wash. -- The hearing to determine if the accused Freeman High School shooter will be tried as a juvenile or an adult continued Wednesday. Caleb Sharpe, now 17, was 15-years-old when deputies say he opened fire on his classmates in September of 2017.

Prosecutors say the shooting was planned "methodically" for months by Sharpe. They say Sharpe even "laughed" when no one tried to stop him in the days before he opened fire.

The shooting left 15-year-old Sam Strahan dead and three other students hurt. Sharpe is also charged with 50 counts of assault for all the other students who were in the line of fire and had to run for their lives.

On Wednesday, defense attorney Bevan Maxey called an expert witness to the stand. Dr. Adler told the court he has testified as an expert witness in Washington approximately 50 times. He told the court he examined extensive records, police reports, Caleb Sharpe himself and Sharpe's parents to formulate his onions on the case.

"I interviewed Caleb Sharpe, administered a number of tests and did clinical interviews with him," he said. "The next day I met with his parents."

Dr. Adler says he performed these various tests to gauge Sharpe's impulsivity and maturity. He told the court Caleb Sharpe was not functioning as a normal teen.

"He was immature and unsophisticated given his age," he said. "He was years below what you would expect from a person who is 15 years and some 10 months."

He also told testified to the progress he believes Caleb Sharpe is making.

"I felt as if, and my evaluation demonstrates, that he has rehabilitative potential," Dr. Adler said. "He has improved and developed as much as could be expected."

The other factor Dr. Adler was asked to review is the likelihood, in his opinion, that Sharpe is a continued threat to his community.

"He has a very low risk for future dangerousness, as low as one could," he said. "His risk for future dangerousness is extremely low."

Prosecutors want Sharpe tried as an adult for the shooting. They say he gave a chilling confession to detectives that included how he planned "every detail."

"He approached this like a military operation," deputy prosecutor Kelly Fitzgerald said in her opening statement.

Prosecutors had their own medical professionals testify Monday. One, who gave Caleb Sharpe a sports physical in the months before the shooting, said he was healthy and acted "age-appropriate."

Testimony will continue all week and last through Monday.

If the judge rules Caleb Sharpe will be tried as a juvenile, he will be released from custody by the time he turns 21-years-old.

Recommended for you