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Former Uber driver pleads guilty in deadly 2016 shooting spree

09 January 2019

A weird and tragic Uber incident took another shocking turn Monday when a MI man pleaded guilty to six murders.

Jason Dalton surprised judges and lawyers who expected him to fight the charges when he nearly immediately admitted to both murder and attempted murder.

Jason Dalton, 48, was charged with six counts of murder over the 2016 weekend shooting spree in and around Kalamazoo, in the U.S. state of MI.

Jason Dalton (48) was charged with 16 counts, including six counts of murder and two counts of attempted murder after his almost five-hour shooting spree on February 20, 2016 in Kalamazoo, about 240km west of Detroit.

Dalton later told investigators he was possessed by a "devil figure" on his Uber app, claiming the platform told him who to shoot, WOOD-TV reported.

There was no sentencing agreements that hinged on Dalton's guilty pleas. A short time after that, he open fired on cars parked outside a Cracker Barrel restaurant around 8km from the site of the Kia shooting, killing four additional people and wounding one more as they sat inside their cars.

He faces a mandatory life sentence in prison for each of his first-degree murder convictions.

Dalton remained quiet in court and only spoke when he was asked questions.

Dalton was found competent to stand trial, but had made freaky outbursts at past court appearances.

Prosecutors later said Dalton's attorney, Eusebio Solis, told them the defendant meant to file a motion to use the insanity defense.

"I've wanted to do this for quite a while", Dalton told a judge, putting an end to jury selection, according to the Associated Press. Dalton had spoken to officers shortly after the shootings.

Kalamazoo County prosecutor Jeff Getting told the AP "everybody wants to know" what drove Dalton to indiscriminately kill six bystanders who had the misfortune of being in Dalton's line of sight on that terrifying day.

Getting said he was also shocked by Dalton's decision.

Dalton was not expected to plead guilty at the Monday morning hearing, with his lawyer revealing he had advised him against admitting to the mass killing.

But he told the judge: "There are personal reasons for him".

Former Uber driver pleads guilty in deadly 2016 shooting spree