Lawyer: Man charged in Kzoo cyclist deaths didn’t intend harm

charles pickett kalamazoo bicycle crash
Charles Pickett arraigned on drunk driving charges in deadly bicycle crash. (June 22, 2016)

KALAMAZOO, Mich. (AP) — A defense lawyer says a man accused of killing five people by plowing his speeding pickup truck into a group of Michigan bicyclists hadn’t intended to harm them.

The comment from lawyer Alan Koenig followed the release this week of police reports saying 50-year-old Charles Pickett Jr. had taken pain pills and muscle relaxers less than two hours before the June 7 crash in Kalamazoo County.

>>PHOTOS: Drugs in truck after crash that killed cyclists 

Koenig offered thoughts and prayers to the victims and their families in an email to The Associated Press on Friday.

Kalamzoo Cycling Victims, Debbie Bradley, Melissa Fevig-Hughes, Tony Nelson, Larry Paulik, Suzanne Sippel
Top, left to right: Debbie Bradley and Melissa Fevig-Hughes. Bottom, left to right: Tony Nelson, Larry Paulik and Suzanne Sippel. (Undated courtesy photos)

Pickett is charged with second-degree murder and driving while intoxicated causing death. He returns to court next month.

Another four bicyclists were injured when they were struck from behind on a two-lane road in Cooper Township, 160 miles from Chicago.

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