Driver in Kalamazoo Bicyclist Tragedy Deemed Competent to Stand Trial
Wednesday a judge ruled that Charles Pickett, Jr., the man accused of hitting nine bicyclists with his truck, killing five, is competent to stand trial.
Pickett is accused of running over nine bicyclists on June 7 while he was under the influence of a controlled substance.
On June 22, Pickett's attorney asked for a competency hearing, and a report submitted Wednesday determined that Pickett is competent and that the trial can move forward.
Pickett is expected back in court Sept. 21 for a preliminary hearing to hear evidence against him.
Pickett was originally charged with five counts of second-degree murder, and four counts of reckless driving causing serious impairment of a body function. The second-degree murder charges carried a maximum sentence of life in prison.
However, on June 22, Kalamazoo County Prosecutor Jeffrey Getting amended the charges to include five counts of intoxicated driving causing death, which carries a maximum penalty of 15 years in prison.