- Associated Press - Friday, July 15, 2016

KALAMAZOO, Mich. (AP) - A man accused of killing five people by plowing his speeding pickup truck into a group of Michigan bicyclists didn’t intended to harm them, his lawyer said Friday.

The comment from attorney Alan Koenig followed the release this week of police reports saying 50-year-old Charles Pickett Jr. had taken pain pills and muscle relaxers less than two hours before the June 7 crash in Kalamazoo County.

“Our thoughts and prayers go out to the victims of the tragedy … and to their families. I cannot comment on the case at this time other than to say that Mr. Pickett never intended to harm any of the victims in this case,” Koenig said in an email to The Associated Press.

A judge earlier granted Koenig’s request for a mental-health exam to determine whether Pickett understands the charges and can assist his attorney. Pickett is charged with second-degree murder and driving while intoxicated causing death.

He returns to court next month.

Another four bicyclists were injured when they were struck from behind on a two-lane road in Cooper Township, 160 miles from Chicago.

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