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Charges filed against suspect in fatal Petaluma hit-and-run

Prosecutors filed charges Thursday against the Rohnert Park driver accused of fleeing a crash that killed a 17-year-old near Petaluma earlier in the week.

Michael Scott Harmon, 41, appeared in custody in a Santa Rosa courtroom, where he was arraigned on felony hit-and-run causing injury or death and vehicular manslaughter without gross negligence while under the influence of alcohol or drugs.

Bail was set at $100,000 but Harmon is not eligible for release because he's suspected of being in violation of probation in a previous drug case.

He is to return to court July 16 to enter a plea to the charges.

Harmon turned himself in Monday, about 10 hours after the Lakeville Highway crash that killed Jahzeel Forsen of American Canyon.

Prosecutor Jane Murray said Harmon admitted being the driver and using drugs or alcohol before driving.

"We're waiting on blood test results but there were admissions to use," Murray said.

Judge Robert LaForge appointed a deputy public defender to take Harmon's case.

Harmon was southbound on Lakeville Highway shortly after midnight when he lost control of his Ford F-150 pickup, which careened back and forth across the roadway before colliding with the teen's northbound truck, the CHP said.

A witness told officers the driver got out of the wrecked Ford, walked over to the other pickup and peered inside at the dead teen. He then disappeared into the night on foot.

Later Monday morning, officers identified Harmon as a person of interest. The 1969 Ford abandoned at the scene was registered to him, and a witness description of the driver matched Harmon, Officer Jon Sloat said.


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