Michigan Supreme Court Denies Appeal for Pickett’s Murder Convictions
A Battle Creek man behind bars after striking several bicyclists in Kalamazoo four years ago will not have his case heard at the state’s highest court.
54-year-old Charles Pickett, Jr., filed an appeal for his case where he was charged on 14 felony counts, including five counts of 2nd-degree murder in deaths of five bicyclists along North Westnedge in June of 2016. Other charges included operating while intoxicated causing death and operating while intoxicated causing serious injury.
Pickett was arrested June 7, 2016, shortly after the incident where a group of cyclists were hit by a truck. 74-year-old Larry Paulik, 73-year-old Tony Nelson and 42-year-old Melissa Fevig Hughes of Kalamazoo, along with 56-year-old Suzanne Sippel and 43-year-old Debbie Bradley of Augusta, were killed in the accident.
Pickett's appeal included the exclusion of suppressed testimony that was used in the initial trial in Kalamazoo County in 2018. The appeal also included too harsh of a penalty following the guilty plea to all charges and above the minimum guidelines for the charges.
After the Michigan Court of Appeals agreed with the decision in Kalamazoo County in September 2019, the Michigan Supreme Court declined to hear the appeal on June 30th.
The Supreme Court determined that after considering the judgment at the Appellate court, they were "not persuaded that the questions presented should be reviewed by this Court".
Pickett was sentenced to at least 35 years in prison for the five murder charges. The sentences for five counts of operating while causing death and four counts of operating while intoxicated causing serious injury are running concurrently. He will be eligible for parole in 2056 at 90 years of age.