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Suspect in biker deaths admits guilt

A man accused of deliberately ramming a stolen pickup into six Outlaws motorcycle gang members, killing two, has apologized from jail and says he wants to be executed.

Timothy Pilgreen looked toward a wall, cupped his hands over his mouth and ran his fingers through his hair while he spoke Thursday at the Bay County Jail.

"I did it," Pilgreen told the News Herald of Panama City. "I wish I hadn't, but I did. My lawyer told me to keep my mouth shut, but I've got to say it, I've just got to: I'm sorry."

Pilgreen, 26, of Texarkana, Ark., admitted running over six motorcyclists Wednesday as they rode on a coastal highway in nearby Panama City Beach. He said he would ask for the death penalty because of what other inmates have told him about the Outlaws.

"Dudes in (jail) been telling me they're going to kill me, but I ain't scared," Pilgreen said.

Panama City Beach police are stepping up their visibility to ward off vengeance.

"I have seen more bikers in town," said Deputy police Chief David Humphreys.

Pilgreen is being held without bail on two counts of murder, four counts of attempted murder and other felony charges stemming from a scuffle with a state environmental officer who chased and arrested him.

Police said the six bikers, riding on five motorcycles, were from the Outlaws' Bay City, Mich., chapter. Nola Zietler, 47, of Bay City, died at the scene, and Donald Dunham, 61, of Brethren, Mich., was pronounced dead at Bay Medical Center.

Another biker, Larry Berryman, 57, of St. Ignace, Mich., was in critical condition Friday in the intensive care unit at Bay Medical. Two bikers were unhurt and the sixth had a minor injury and was not taken to the hospital.

Pilgreen said he was broke except for a silver certificate, a no-longer-issued form of paper money, and went to a public pier and tried to sell it to the bikers.

"I said, "Hey, you old (expletive), you guys want to buy a silver certificate?' " Pilgreen said. "They didn't like that I called them old, and one of these guys hauls off and punches me in the chest."

"I was just enraged," Pilgreen said. "Just so mad and drunk that when they took off, I started following them.

". . . I just closed my eyes and pushed the gas and blam, blam, blam, just like that."

Pilgreen blamed his rage on a history of drugs, alcohol and childhood abuse.

"I realize I made a mistake," he said. "I know I did something I shouldn't have, and I know I can't take it back. I just wish I could. I'm not a bad person, but I've been so lost and so hopeless for so long. I think I'm going to ask for the death penalty."