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Tree Trimmer Guilty in Scott Murder

Published October 24, 2007

SACRAMENTO, CA (BRAIN)—Yolo County jurors found tree trimmer and convicted felon Charles Kevin Cunningham guilty for the June, 2006 murder of John Finley Scott, the man many credit to having invented the mountain bike.

Cunningham, 48, was found guilty of first-degree murder and grand theft and now faces a sentence of 32 years to life, said Deputy District Attorney David Akulian. Cunningham is schedule to be sentenced on Dec. 3.

It was Scott, who, in 1953, outfitted a Schwinn bicycle with balloon tires, multiple gears and more powerful brakes, calling it his "woodsie bike." He was among the first in the United States to make a sport out of bombing down mountains on a bicycle, according to many cycling historians. Scott was recently featured in the movie “Klunkerz” —a documentary on the history of mountain biking.

Scott, a retired UC Davis professor, was also a staunch advocate of bicycling. In the 1970s, he lobbied the California Legislature to establish modern traffic laws that treat bikes much like cars. —Jason Norman

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