Michigan driver to be sentenced in 2016 deaths of 5 cyclists

Charles Pickett Jr. is charged in the deaths of five bicyclists in southwestern Michiga. He\'s expected to be sentenced Monday morning. Photo courtesy Kalamazoo Sheriff\'s Department

KALAMAZOO, Mich. (AP) — A Michigan man is scheduled to be sentenced in the deaths of five bicyclists whom he struck with his pickup truck after ingesting painkillers and other drugs.

Charles Pickett Jr., of Battle Creek, faces up to life in prison at his sentencing hearing Monday in Kalamazoo County Circuit Court. He was convicted last month of five counts of second-degree murder.

The 52-year-old Pickett slammed into a pack of nine cyclists from behind on June 7, 2016, on a rural two-lane road in Cooper Township, about 140 miles (210 kilometers) west of Detroit.

Prosecutors have said Pickett was speeding and didn't apply his brakes until after he struck the first victim. Three women and two men were killed.

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