Jury deliberating fate of Charles Pickett, Jr. in Kalamazoo bike crash

Posted at 8:50 AM, May 01, 2018
and last updated 2018-05-01 15:11:13-04

KALAMAZOO, Mich. – Closing arguments have wrapped in the trial of a man charged with killing five bicyclists in Kalamazoo.

Charles Pickett, Jr. faces life in prison for five counts of 2nd degree murder in the crash June 7, 2016.  Five bicyclists were killed and four were injured in the crash.

Prosecutors called dozens of witnesses and experts to the stand, chronicling the event of the day.  Pickett’s defense didn’t call any witnesses. Pickett’s defense maintains that he was on painkillers when the crash occurred and that the incident was reckless driving, but not murder.  Pickett did not take the stand.

In his closing arguments, the prosecutor told the jury that when Pickett took multiple painkillers and methamphetamines that “there is no way on this earth that Mr. Pickett didn’t know that this was going to be a problem.” He then made the voluntary choice to drive.  He told the jury there were several instances along the way before the crash into the cyclists that should have gotten Pickett’s attention, such as tailgating and running into a curb, that would have told him to stop.

Pickett’s defense told the jury that the defendant is considered innocent until proven guilty, that there isn’t proof of a level of misconduct.   He said that the jurors need to take out the bias of death and injury because those are only one factor in the case.

The judge was giving the jurors their instructions and then they will start deliberating Pickett’s fate.

We’ll have more from Kalamazoo on later editions of FOX 17 News.  Follow Lauren Edwards on Twitter for live updates in court.