Police Search for Violent Offender Who Fled Halfway House | California News

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SANTA ANA, Calif. (AP) — A Southern California man released early from prison five years after stabbing his mother to death is again the subject of a police manhunt, authorities said.

Ike Nicholas Souzer, 18, removed his electronic monitoring bracelet Wednesday within hours of being moved to a halfway house, according to the Orange County District Attorney’s office. Souzer had been released that day from a maximum security jail.

“I told the DA’s office, with that ankle bracelet, he’s not going to make it through the day,” Eleanor Watson, Souzer’s grandmother, who was notified of his impending release, told the Los Angeles Times on Saturday. “He cut the one off to kill his mother, for crying out loud. What’s going on with the courts down here?”

Souzer was 13 when he stabbed his mother, Barbara Scheuer-Souzer, at their home in Garden Grove. At the time of the 2017 killing, he was on home detention with a history of running away, and was described by a family member as autistic and volatile. His defense lawyer said Souzer had been abused by his mother, an allegation Watson maintains was false.

Souzer was convicted in juvenile court of manslaughter in 2019.

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The prosecutor’s office described Souzer as an “extremely dangerous and violent criminal,” an assessment Watson agreed with.

Watson said she was told a judge decided to release him early “to give him a chance, but you don’t give a chance to a person who has this personality type and has already murdered.”

Souzer’s sentence was initially set to be completed in July 2023, but he was released early, with orders to remain under electronic monitoring, the Times said.

While in custody, Souzer faced additional felony charges in December tied to attacks in August 2021 on three correctional officers. Those counts were reduced to misdemeanors and Souzer was given credit for the time he had already spent behind bars.

Souzer, who is described as 6 feet tall and weighing 200 pounds, has a prior history of escape, according to the Times. While awaiting trial in 2019, he found his way to a rooftop at the Orange County Juvenile Hall, vaulted a high perimeter fence, and was picked up by police later that day at a McDonald’s.

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