A California man convicted in the death of his mother was the subject of an “intense manhunt” and arrested in Mexico after walking away from a transitional facility without notice, authorities said this week.

Ike Nicholas Souzer, 20, was behind bars Friday after allegedly violating terms of probation, which mandate both that he inform his probation officer of his whereabouts and stay in the region, according to authorities and court documents.

Though Souzer’s probation was based on a vandalism conviction, the Orange County District Attorney Todd Spitzer’s office warned the public on March 21, the day after he left a Santa Ana transitional facility: “This individual should be considered extremely dangerous and violent.”

Souzer has a record of violence in his teenage years, including a conviction for voluntary manslaughter in the death of his mother, who was fatally stabbed when he was 13, and a conviction related to an attack on three jail guards when he was 17 or 18.

The DA’s office also noted in a statement Wednesday, when it announced he was in custody, that in late 2022 Souzer was convicted of possession of a weapon — the office said it was a shank — while in custody.

Souzer was found in Playas de Rosarito, a coastal municipality south of Tijuana, the DA’s office said. It credited Mexican authorities, U.S. Customs and Border Protection, the U.S. Border Patrol, and the office’s own fugitive task force for the arrest.

“He set a plan in motion to flee to a foreign country in yet another attempt to escape the consequences of his actions,” Spitzer said in his office’s statement Wednesday.

The public defender’s office, which has been assigned to defend Souzer in the past, did not immediately respond to a request for comment. The DA’s office acknowledged that a family member said during his juvenile court prosecution for manslaughter that Souzer was autistic and had a history of outbursts.

The DA’s office said Souzer has a long history of crime and that, when he attacked his mother, he was on home detainment and wearing a GPS monitor for another matter.

The office said Souzer violated probation when he left the supervision of the same transitional organization in 2022, when he was under mandatory GPS monitoring for the weapons conviction. The DA’s task force found Souzer then at a homeless encampment, according to the statement on Wednesday.

Spitzer blamed judges in the county for issuing what he described as lax sentences in cases involving Souzer. The office wanted to try him as an adult in the death of his mother, it said, and it consistently asked for stricter sentences in his subsequent cases.

In those matters, judges allowed time served to be counted and gave Souzer credit for good behavior, according to the DA’s office. The office called out specific judges by name. The California Judges Association did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

The DA’s office also appeared to criticize a nonprofit, Project Kinship, for having “spent years advocating for Souzer’s release from custody.”

The nonprofit organization runs the supervisorial program and transitional facility from which Souzer left in 2022 and on March 20. It said it couldn’t comment on specific cases.

Founder and executive director Steve Kim said by email, “Project Kinship offers services like case management, counseling, and peer mentorship. We help individuals impacted by substance abuse, gangs, and incarceration.”

He said it has had a positive influence on Orange County.


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