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Petaluma man faces trial in death of boy

A Petaluma man was ordered Friday to stand trial on two felony child endangerment counts in the death last year of a 13-year-old boy who was on the way to a birthday outing at Lake Mendocino.

Michael Lee Krnaich "acted like a 12-year-old himself instead of a chaperone for 12-year-old boys," Deputy District Attorney Matt Hubley said after the hearing.

Trevor Smith Field

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Mendocino County Judge Richard Henderson ruled there was enough evidence to proceed with the prosecution of Krnaich, 42, on charges he was criminally negligent when he had eight children, ages 9 to 13, push his truck and boat/trailer when he ran out of gas on Highway 101 after ignoring the fuel warning light.

Trevor Smith, 13, of Petaluma, was killed when he slipped, fell and was crushed by the trailer as the rig picked up speed.

"None of this was necessary," Henderson said at the conclusion of Friday's preliminary hearing.


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