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California man pleads no contest in death of cyclist

Chevelle Baily, 41, entered a plea of no contest to vehicular manslaughter and two other felonies before a court in California. Baily was accused of killing a cyclist, 31-year-old John Peckham, while on a lunchtime group training ride in the hills of Palo Alto on September 8th. Peckham was struck by Baily's speeding car while riding ahead of the group. Bailey's no contest plea is the legal equivalent of a guilty plea.

Baily could face 28 years and eight months in prison considering his prior DUI and robbery convictions. "This guy needs to be off the streets,'' Brian Petersen, president of the local cycling club, told the San Jose Mercury News outside of court.

Baily also pleaded guilty to driving under the influence while causing injury and a hit and run charge. According to the court, Baily was under the influence of methamphetamine and alcohol when he struck Peckham while driving between 60 and 90 mph. Then Baily kept driving until he crashed his car down an embankment. Witnesses reported to police that Bailey opened a beer after the crash and allegedly said: "I thought I was going to die, but I got out of the car like soldier, cracked a beer and downed it.''

Sue George is an editor at Cyclingnews.  She coordinates all of the site's mountain bike race coverage and assists with the road, 'cross and track coverage.