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Kalamazoo trial witness says Pickett was on pills the day of the crash that left five dead

courtroom gavel
Flickr/Joe Gratz

The trial for the Battle Creek man who allegedly hit and killed five cyclists with his pickup truck continued today. One witness says he was struggling mentally on the day of the incident.

Charles Pickett Jr. currently faces five counts of second degree murder for the June 2016 accident which left five dead and four injured. Pickett is accused of driving under the influence of muscle relaxers at the time of the crash.

Pamela Barletta, one of the witnesses who took the stand today, is a friend of Pickett and has known him for the past two and a half years.

Barletta says she went to a funeral with Pickett on the day of the crash. She says he took a large amount of pills before she left the Kalamazoo area.

“He swallowed a bunch of pills and I was worried but he said ‘I’ve done this before,’” Barletta said.

This happened hours before the crash, but Barletta told the courtroom that Pickett repeatedly told her he didn’t want to be alone after the funeral.

The trial is expected to last until late next week.

Bryce Huffman was Michigan Radio’s West Michigan Reporter and host of Same Same Different. He is currently a reporter for Bridge Detroit.
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