A US motorist who killed five cyclists in Michigan in 2016 faces life imprisonment after being found guilty of five counts of second-degree murder, each punishable by a maximum life sentence.
Charles Pickett Jr was also convicted by a jury in Michigan yesterday of five counts of operating while intoxicated causing death, and four counts of operating while intoxicated causing serious injury, reports woodtv.com.
At his trial, the court heard testimony from a friend of Pickett’s who said that he had taken a number of pills before driving his pick-up truck into a group of cyclists in Cooper Township near Kalamazoo on 7 June 2017, killing five – Debbie Bradley, Melissa Fevig-Hughes, Tony Nelson, Larry Paulik and Suzanne Sippel.
Following the guilty verdicts, which the jury took four hours to reach, its foreman Nick Meisling told reporters said: "Mr Pickett had several opportunities to stop and pull over and he chose to keep going, which obviously resulted in the death of five people, which is why we came to our verdict."
Kalamazoo County Prosecutor Jeff Getting commented: "Justice has been served in this case," adding that the judge “will have the discretion to impose a sentence that serves justice."
Kalamazoo County Assistant Prosecutor Michael Kanaby added: "The families [of the victims] are about as relieved as you can get.
"It's been a long process for them. I have to take my hat off to them. They have been outstanding.
“They were pretty much hands off and trusted us to do what we needed to do, which was amazing with all that was going on and how long the process took to get here."
Guy Hughes, whose wife Melissa Fevig-Hughes was one of the victims, said: “I thought it would feel like justice, but not having Melissa here with us and my two daughters not having a mom, it just takes away from that.
“I feel justice was served, but it won’t bring her back," he added.
Born in Scotland, Simon moved to London aged seven and now lives in the Oxfordshire Cotswolds with his miniature schnauzer, Elodie. He fell in love with cycling one Saturday morning in 1994 while living in Italy when Milan-San Remo went past his front door. A daily cycle commuter in London back before riding to work started to boom, he's been news editor at road.cc since 2009. Handily for work, he speaks French and Italian. He doesn't get to ride his Colnago as often as he'd like, and freely admits he's much more adept at cooking than fettling with bikes.