KALAMAZOO, Michigan — A stoned driver who plowed through a pack of cyclists, killing five of them, was sentenced to at least 40 years in prison after the judge dismissed his tearful apology as not good enough.
Charles Pickett Jr., 52, had taken methamphetamine, muscle relaxers and pain medication at a cousin’s funeral two years ago when he got behind the wheel and tore through a pack of nine cyclists on a rural road in Cooper Township.
Five of the cyclists — three women and two men ranging in age from 42 to 74 — were killed and four others seriously injured.
“I’ll live with this the rest of my life,” Pickett said, as he broke down in tears in court, according to MLive.com. “I would give my life for the people I murdered, killed and maimed and I just want to say I’m sorry.”
But Judge Paul Bridenstine called Pickett’s apology ”woefully inadequate,” as he had many opportunities to stop driving before the fatal crash and he had narrowly avoided killing others along the road that day.
“You selfishly and unnecessarily murdered five people and altered the lives of four others,” Bridenstine said before handing down the sentence. “The loss is massive and immeasurable.”
Pickett was hit with a to 40 to 75 years sentence and will be 90 years old before he is eligible for parole.