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20-Year-Old Who Killed Mom Convicted of Making Weapon in California Jail

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20-Year-Old Who Killed Mom Convicted of Making Weapon in California Jail

Ike Souzer, 20, of Garden Grove. (Courtesy of Orange County Sheriff)

City News Service

City News Service

10/17/2023

Updated: 10/17/2023

SANTA ANA, Calif.—A 20-year-old man previously convicted of fatally stabbing his mother when he was 13 years old was convicted Oct. 17 of making a shank while in Orange County Jail in Santa Ana.
Ike Souzer, of Garden Grove, was convicted of making and possessing a weapon while in custody, both felony counts. Souzer is scheduled to be sentenced Oct. 24.
Mr. Souzer made headlines in April 2022 when he freed himself of his electronic monitoring device and escaped custody in a halfway house in Santa Ana.
He was convicted as a juvenile of voluntary manslaughter for stabbing his mother to death in 2017. While in custody, he was convicted in December 2021 of attacking three correctional officers, according to prosecutors.
He was ordered to wear an electronic monitor for the remainder of his sentence until it expired on July 9, 2023, and was released to a halfway house in Santa Ana, prosecutors said.
While on trial in juvenile court for the killing of his 47-year-old mother, Barbara Scheuer-Souzer, he escaped juvenile hall in Orange shortly after midnight April 12, 2019, and was arrested the next day at a McDonald’s restaurant in Anaheim.
Mr. Souzer stabbed his mother in their residence in the 11000 block of Gilbert Street in Garden Grove on May 4, 2017. She told authorities before she died in a hospital that her son was the one who attacked her.
An Orange County sheriff’s deputy found the shank hidden in Mr. Souzer’s one-man cell in the Men’s Central Jail in Santa Ana on July 9 of last year, said Deputy District Attorney Matthew Bradbury.
“This case is about holding the defendant responsible for his decision to arm himself while in Orange County Jail,” Mr. Bradbury said in his opening statement of the trial.
The deputy found the 6- to 7-inch weapon above the cell’s sliding door, Mr. Bradbury said. It was made with a portion of a plastic food tray and saran wrap inmates use for meals, Mr. Bradbury said.
When asked about the object, Mr. Souzer allegedly said, “Yeah, I made that weapon,” Mr. Bradbury said.
Defense attorney David Isaac Hammmond of the Orange County Public Defender’s Office said the case is not so clear-cut.
“It’s interesting that the people are making it sound like, check the box, he had a weapon,” Mr. Hammond said. “Nothing is that simple.”
The Orange County Courthouse in Santa Ana, Calif., on Oct. 22, 2020. (John Fredricks/The Epoch Times)

The Orange County Courthouse in Santa Ana, Calif., on Oct. 22, 2020. (John Fredricks/The Epoch Times)

On Aug. 25, 2021, Mr. Souzer requested a move from Orange County Juvenile Hall to Orange County Jail. He got his wish but quickly decided it was a mistake, his attorney said.
“There was nothing Ike did to create the danger he constantly faced” in jail, Mr. Hammond said. “He felt he was in constant danger. ... He did what he had to do in order to stay safe.”
Mr. Hammond downplayed the weapon’s effectiveness.
“That looks pretty menacing,” Mr. Hammond said, pointing to a photo of the shank. “It looks like a piece of metal. It looks like something that could injure or kill someone.”
But, he added while waving the paper, when the deputy was examining the shank it “keeps bending like this paper.”
The food trays are made from a “malleable ... rubbery plastic,” Mr. Hammond said.
Mr. Souzer requested a return to Juvenile Hall after four months when he felt “in over his head” in jail, Mr. Hammond said. But for some reason it took until Oct. 7 of last year until he was ordered back to Juvenile Hall, Mr. Hammond said.
According to court papers, Mr. Souzer told investigators when he was arrested for his mother’s stabbing that he had been subjected to verbal and physical abuse at his mother’s hands in the past. He claimed he was using the knife in self-defense after he got into a heated conflict over household chores, according to court papers.
During his trial for the killing, the defendant testified that he did not think he had mortally wounded his mother, who was terrified of knives, according to court papers. Mr. Souzer also testified that “he loved his mother and just wanted her to stop hurting him and for their relationship to be good,” according to court papers.
Experts for the defense testified the defendant was “in constant fear of physical abuse,” that he would have less impulse control than an adult in the conflict and that he had acted in self-defense.
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