Murder charges upheld in Kalamazoo crash that killed five bicyclists

Kalamazoo bike crash murder charges

KALAMAZOO, MICH. (WZZM) - The Michigan Supreme Court said it will not interfere with second-degree murder charges against a man accused in a Kalamazoo County bicycle crash that killed five riders, setting the stage for trial later this year.

The one-page order released Wednesday comes nearly six months after the Court of Appeals said it will not hear the case of Charles Pickett Jr.

Pickett, 51, is charged in  a deadly June 7, 2016 crash in Cooper Township. His pickup struck nine cyclists on North Westnedge Avenue, killing five and injuring four.

“We are pleased with the decision,’’ Kalamazoo County Chief Assistant Prosecutor Scott W. Brower said Thursday, Jan. 25. “The Supreme Court said no, we’re not going to send it back.’’

Both sides will meet in upcoming weeks to review the case and consider possible trial dates.

Defense attorney Alan Koenig argued that the prosecutor’s office did not have sufficient evidence to support charges of second-degree murder, a potential life offense.

In a motion filed last April, Koenig asked the Appeals Court to overturn a judge’s decision to send the case to trial. He argued the facts only supported, at most, the elements of reckless driving causing death, a 15-year felony.

Koenig also contends statements Pickett made to police should not have been admitted in court.

In addition to second-degree murder, Pickett faces five counts of intoxicated driving causing death and four counts of operating while intoxicated causing serious injury.

© 2018 WZZM-TV


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