(John Ransom, Headline USA) An 18-year-old who had been convicted of brutally killing his mother in 2017, was arrested at a California homeless encampment after escaping from a halfway house to which he had been remanded as part of an early-release program.
BREAKING: #OC DA Todd Spitzer tells @knxnews fugitive team arrested Ike Souzer at a homeless camp in Anaheim today. He stabbed his mom to death at age 13. Wednesday, he cut off GPS ankle device at halfway house and escaped, hours after being moved from max security jail. pic.twitter.com/91GM0BSfD9
— Emily Valdez, KNX News Reporter (@EmilyValdezKNX) April 17, 2022
Ike Nicholas Souzer, removed the ankle monitor that was supposed to track him and left the halfway house in Santa Ana on the same day that he was released—15 months early on his original sentence for murder, said the LA Times.
In December he was convicted of assaulting three corrections officers, said the New York Post.
He also had an escape attempt in 2019, when he was free for a single day.
Souzer was described in news bulletins as “extremely dangerous,” which invites the question as to why he was released to begin with.
The answer may be in the attempt by California to “reform” the criminal code.
“Over the past decade, voters, legislators and governors have weighed in on policies to reduce California’s prison population, changing state laws along the way,” said CalMatters.
In a similar rebuke to California’s radical leniency for violent offenders, it was revealed two weeks ago that a suspected gunman in a Sacramento mass shooting may have obtained an automatic weapon on the black market and used it during a late night bar brawl that killed six and wounded 12 shortly after receiving an early release from prison.
California’s bizarre patchwork of incarceration laws may also explain why Souzer was let out of jail early, and apparently faces no additional time for the assault on the corrections officers.
In the state of California any person who assaults another person who is not also confined as a prisoner in a state prison is subject to two to four years in jail, with such terms to be served consecutively, according to the California Penal Code.
Souzer, however, was incarcerated at a county sheriff’s facility, called the Theo Lacy Facility, a maximum-security jail in Orange County, which may have different laws that apply.
In 2019, the teen was convicted of voluntary manslaughter, after stabbing his mother to death. Prosecutors had argued for murder charges, but the charges were reduced by Orange County Superior Court Judge Douglas J. Hatchimonji to the lesser manslaughter conviction, said the Orange County Register.
Souzer faced up to 11 years in prison on his conviction, but had to be released by the age 25 because he was a minor at the time he committed a crime.
He served less than five years as an “extremely dangerous” teen.
The teen’s lawyer argued that there was a history of abuse from the mother and the teen suffered from autism and other disabilities that made him not fully responsible for his actions.
“After his arrest, a relative told a Register reporter that Souzer had a temper and was volatile, sometimes clashing with his mother and threatening her over chores. The relative described the relationship between the two as strained, but indicated she was a loving mother,” said the Orange County Register.