Rohnert Park man pleads guilty to fatal Lakeville Highway hit-and-run crash
Published: Monday, August 27, 2012 at 11:58 a.m.
Last Modified: Monday, August 27, 2012 at 1:38 p.m.
A Rohnert Park man faces nearly five years in prison after pleading guilty Monday to a hit-and-run crash that killed an American Canyon 17-year-old.
Michael Harmon, 41, was accused of crashing into Jahzeel Forsen on Lakeville Highway on July 2. A witness said he peered into the dead teen's vehicle, then fled on foot, leaving his truck at the scene.
Harmon was charged with hit-and-run causing death and vehicular manslaughter while under the influence of a controlled substance.
Toxicology tests found he had methamphetamine and valium in his blood but no alcohol.
His lawyer said he took the drugs after the crash. She said he was sorry about what happened.
"He does feel extremely remorseful for the loss of life," attorney Kristine Burk said in court before Harmon admitted the charges.
Prosecutors sought more time to investigate just when Harmon took the drugs before he agreed to settle the case. He's been in custody since his arrest.
Judge Robert LaForge said Harmon will be sentenced Oct. 22. He could receive probation or anything up to four years and eight months in state prison.
Under state sentencing laws, Harmon will be allowed to serve half of any prison term.
"It's an open plea," LaForge said. "There is no agreement about what you'll be sentenced to."
Forsen was driving home from his grandparents' Sebastopol restaurant at about midnight when he was hit by Harmon, who lost control of his Ford F-150 pickup.
You can reach Staff Writer Paul Payne at 568-5312 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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