KALAMAZOO, Mich. (WJBK/AP) - A Michigan man who was under the influence of drugs when he plowed into bicyclists, killing five, has been sentenced to at least 40 years in prison.
Charles Pickett Jr. apologized Monday and said he would give his own life for the people who were killed and injured. But a judge called his plea "woefully inadequate."
Pickett last month was convicted of second-degree murder. In 2016, he slammed into a pack of bicyclists on a rural road in Kalamazoo County's Cooper Township.
There's no dispute that he had swallowed painkillers and other drugs before driving his pickup truck. But his lawyers argued that murder charges were excessive.
The 52-year-old Pickett was sentenced to 35-55 years for each of the five deaths in June 2016.
Nine people were hit, including five who died from their injuries.
Assistant prosecutor Michael Kanaby told jurors that Pickett "certainly doesn't care what's going on around him" after taking drugs and driving.
A woman who was with Pickett earlier that day said he had attended a cousin's funeral and swallowed a handful of drugs.
Pamela Barletta said she told Pickett: "'That's real smart, Charlie.' ... Before I could say anything else he just drove away."
The Associated Press contributed to this report.