General Crime

* Dylan Morse,The Son Of Merced County District Attorney Larry D. Morse, Pleaded Not Guilty To,Three Felony, Three Misdemeanor Charges

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The Sonoma County District Attorney’s Office added a possession of marijuana charge today to the complaint against a Merced County man in connection with a vehicle crash that critically injured his best friend and killed a Richmond man in February.Dylan Morse, 18, the son of Merced County District Attorney Larry D. Morse, pleaded not guilty to the three felony and three misdemeanor charges this morning. His preliminary hearing scheduled for Friday was continued until May 22. He is free after his family posted $180,000 bail.Morse is charged with vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated but without gross negligence, DUI and DUI with a blood/alcohol level of 0.08 percent or more, all felonies. He also is charged with misdemeanor counts of having alcohol in his vehicle, having a fake driver’s license and possessing not more than 28.5 grams of marijuana.Morse was in Sonoma County visiting his friend Ryne Spitzer, 19, of Merced, a Sonoma State University freshman studying business, the California Highway Patrol said.They were returning around 2:20 a.m. Feb. 14 to SSU from Sebastopol in a 1998 Volvo on Stony Point Road near state Highway 116 when Morse failed to stop at a red light and broadsided a 1988 Honda that was traveling east on Highway 116, the CHP said.The collision killed the Honda driver Alexander Ruiz, 25 of Richmond. Ruiz’s passenger, Vanessa King, 25, of Berkeley, suffered a broken arm and collarbone and facial lacerations. Spitzer suffered brain injuries and paralysis, according to the complaint, and was taken to Santa Rosa Memorial Hospital. Morse was not injured.

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