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Driver charged with murder in deaths of 5 Kalamazoo cyclists

Second-degree murder charges were authorized against a 50-year-old Battle Creek man suspected of plowing through nine cyclists, killing five.

Charles E. Pickett faces five counts of second degree murder, along with four counts of reckless driving causing serious impairment. The charges were authorized by District Judge Haenicke at the request of Kalamazoo County Prosecutor Jeff Getting.

The cyclists were members of a group, dubbed “The Chain Gang,” that made regular rides every Tuesday evening. The cyclists were riding up a hill on a two-lane road in Cooper Township, north of Kalamazoo, when a a blue Chevrolet pickup plowed into the group from behind, killing five of them and injuring four, according to authorities.

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