KALAMAZOO, Mich. — The Michigan Court of Appeals has decided against hearing an appeal of murder charges against a man involved in a fatal crash that killed and injured multiple bicyclists last year.
A three-judge panel wrote July 28 that Charles Pickett Jr.’s leave to appeal was denied “for failure to persuade the Court of the need for immediate appellate review.”
Pickett is accused of driving a vehicle under the influence of drugs and plowing into a group of bicyclists in Cooper Township on June 7, 2016, killing five and injuring four. His girlfriend told police he downed handfuls of pain pills and muscle relaxers before driving.
Pickett is charged with five counts of operating while intoxicated causing death, five counts of second-degree murder and four counts of operating while intoxicated causing serious injury.
Defense attorney Alan Koenig argued in the April application that the prosecution’s evidence wasn’t enough to send Pickett to trial for second-degree murder. He said the evidence established, at most, the elements of reckless driving causing death.
Koenig alleged the circuit court made a mistake in denying the motion to quash Pickett’s bindover on the murder charges and also erred in denying his motion to suppress his statements to police.
The defense attorney argued that an interview with Pickett at the hospital where was being treated had violated his client’s constitutional rights and at minimum that the detective should’ve read his client’s Miranda rights a second time.
Koenig filed a notice in March to use the insanity defense in the case. Pickett has been ordered to undergo an examination for criminal responsibility at the Center for Forensic Psychiatry in Ypsilanti.
Pickett’s trial is scheduled for Sept. 19 in Kalamazoo County Circuit Court.