Court date set for April in Dylan Morse case

SANTA ROSA -- A preliminary hearing in the case of Dylan Morse has been set for April 17 in Sonoma County Superior Court, the Santa Rosa Press Democrat reported.

Morse, the 18-year-old son of Merced County District Attorney Larry Morse II, was arrested last month on suspicion of driving under the influence and vehicular manslaughter, after he was involved in a two-car collision near Cotati that killed one man and injured two people.

Morse, who is free on bail, made a brief appearance in Sonoma County Court on Friday, accompanied by his mother Cindy.

He is charged with five counts, including suspected vehicular manslaughter, drunken driving, having alcohol in his vehicle and possessing a fake driver’s license. He pleaded not guilty to the charges last week.

California Highway Patrol investigators said the collision happened after Morse ran a red light and collided with a car driven by 22-year-old Alexander Ruiz. Ruiz was pronounced dead at the scene. His passenger, 25-year-old Vanessa King, suffered facial lacerations and broken bones.

The passenger in Morse’s car, 19-year-old Ryne Spitzer, was hospitalized with major head trauma. Spitzer was left comatose and paralyzed by the crash, according to the criminal complaint in the case, the Press Democrat reported.

Spitzer remains hospitalized in the Intensive Care Unit at Santa Rosa Memorial Hospital , where he was listed Friday in stable condition, according to a hospital spokeswoman.

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