Man sentenced for Kalamazoo crash that killed 5 bicyclists in June 2016

Charles Pickett Jr. sentenced to 35-55 years in prison

Charles Pickett - from video provided by WOOD-TV
Charles Pickett - from video provided by WOOD-TV

KALAMAZOO, Mich. – A man involved in a 2016 crash that killed five bicyclists and injured four others in southwestern Michigan has been sentenced to 35-55 years in prison with 734 days credit. 

Charles Pickett, 52, was found guilty on five counts of second-degree murder, five counts of operating while intoxicated causing death and four counts of operating while intoxicated causing serious injury.

Pickett was accused of driving under the influence of drugs and plowing into a group of bicyclists in Cooper Township on June 7, 2016. His girlfriend told police he downed handfuls of pain pills and muscle relaxers before driving.

He received five separate sentences, one for each cyclist killed, to be served concurrently. 

Pickett apologized before he was sentenced Monday morning. 

“I’ll live with this the rest of my life. I would give my life for the people I murdered, killed and maimed and I just want to say I’m sorry,” he said, wiping away tears.

Pickett’s lawyer argued the evidence established, at most, the elements of reckless driving causing death.

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