Trial opens in Michigan crash that killed 5 bicyclists

A prosecutor says a Michigan motorist accused of running down nine bicyclists, killing five of them, was driving well above the speed limit and didn’t apply his brakes until striking the first victim.

Kalamazoo County Assistant Prosecutor Michael Kanaby told jurors in his opening statement Tuesday that witnesses will testify they saw 52-year-old Charles Pickett of Battle Creek driving erratically before the 2016 crash.

Pickett is charged with 14 counts, including five each of second-degree murder and operating a motor vehicle while under the influence of drugs causing death. He faces up to life in prison if convicted.

The Kalamazoo Gazette reports defense attorney Keith Turpel said the evidence isn’t enough to convict Pickett of murder. He said prosecutors must prove other elements, including Pickett’s state of mind.  (AP)

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