Man who allegedly drove into cyclists in US charged with murder of Australian

'N Arizona man already facing assault charges for allegedly driving his pickup truck into people participating in a bike race nearly six weeks ago has been charged with murder.

An indictment made public Wednesday adds a murder charge against Shawn Michael Chock in the death of 58-year-old Australian Jeremy Barrett.

Barrett was one of those injured on 19 June when Chock sped into a crowd gathered for the annual 58 mile (93km) Bike the Bluff race in Show Low, a mountain city about three hours north-east of Phoenix, authorities say.

He is also charged with aggravated assault of nine other people, leaving the scene of an accident and fleeing from law enforcement. Chock previously pleaded not guilty to some of the charges, though he hasn’t yet entered a plea on the murder charge.
Hunter T Lewis, an attorney representing Chock, declined to comment on the indictment.

Prosecutors allege that after driving into the crowd, Chock hit a a telephone pole and backed out of the crowd as cyclists pounded on the truck’s windows, screaming for him to get out. He then drove down the road, turned around and headed back towards the cyclists before driving away.

Police shot Chock at a nearby hardware store. He was charged after being released from the hospital and remains jailed on a $500,000 bond.

Barrett’s condition had been improving with surgery, and doctors in Flagstaff planned to transport him to Tucson. But a friend has said Barrett suffered another setback as he was fighting to survive. Hy sterf op 10 Julie.

Barrett, who spent parts of his life in Zimbabwe and Australia, was well-known in the cycling community for welcoming new riders and hosting cyclists who were training in southern Arizona, friends said.

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