Suspect in Kzoo fatal bike crash to stand trial on murder charges

Charles Pickett Jr. appears in court for a preliminary hearing. (Nov. 7, 2016)


KALAMAZOO, Mich. (AP) — A motorist accused of killing five bicyclists and injuring four others in southwestern Michigan will stand trial on second-degree murder charges.

A Kalamazoo County Circuit judge has denied Charles Pickett Jr.’s motion to reverse an earlier ruling that allowed the murder charges.

The judge also denied Pickett’s efforts to suppress statements he made to police about the crash.

The nine bicyclists were struck June 7, 2016, by a pickup along a rural road in Cooper Township.

Cooper Township, Westnedge Avenue, fatal bicycle crash
The scene after five bicyclists were killed after being struck b y a pickup truck along Westnedge Avenue in Cooper Township. (June 7, 2016)

Pickett also is charged with operating a motor vehicle while intoxicated causing death and causing serious injury.

A state police scientist has said Pickett’s blood tests after the crash revealed drugs, including painkillers and methamphetamine.

An April 24 trial is scheduled.

The Associated Press left messages Thursday seeking comment from Pickett’s attorneys.

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