Trial date set in hit-and-run crash that killed Jacob Greenwald

Jason Palmer charged in Oct. 27 incident

EL CAJON, Calif. - A Jan. 13 trial date was set Wednesday for an ex-con accused of running down a 20-year-old man walking home from work in Spring Valley.

Jason Michael Palmer, 34, is charged with gross vehicular manslaughter and hit-and-run in the Oct. 27 death of Jacob Greenwald.

Palmer has misdemeanor DUI and hit-and-run convictions from 2000. He faces 20 years in prison if convicted of the current charges.

Oscar Flores, a friend of the defendant, testified during a preliminary hearing earlier this month that Palmer showed up at his Serra Mesa home more than six hours after the 3:45 a.m. collision, drinking a beer.

Flores testified that Palmer told him that he had done "something terrible."

"He said, 'I think I may have killed someone,'" Flores told prosecutor Cally Bright.

"I told him, 'You messed up,'" and would be in more trouble for leaving the scene, Flores said, adding that he suspected Palmer was intoxicated at the time of the collision.

The witness said he told Palmer to turn himself in, but Palmer said he was scared and didn't know what to do.

Palmer was eventually arrested at a home close to where Flores lived.

At Palmer's arraignment last month, Bright said the defendant has been to prison three times -- for attempted robbery, receiving stolen property and possessing a vehicle that didn't belong to him -- and was recently released from custody. He subsequently was released from some sort of halfway house, according to the prosecutor.

Authorities said Greenwald was walking home on a sidewalk on Campo Road when he was struck by a Toyota 4Runner. The SUV's front license plate was left behind, near the victim's body.

The 4Runner -- which was owned by Palmer's grandfather -- was located in Serra Mesa just before the defendant was arrested.

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