SAN FRANCISCO — Ronald McIntosh, sentenced last week to 25 years for his role in a daring helicopter escape with his inmate sweetheart from the federal prison at Pleasanton, is under renewed investigation in connection with a 3-year-old murder, San Mateo County prosecutors said Monday.
The San Mateo County district attorney's office Monday charged Michael Anthony, 30, McIntosh's one-time partner in a fraudulent precious metal trading company scheme, with the murder of Ronald Ewing, 27. Ewing's bullet-punctured body was found on a beach in Half Moon Bay south of here on May 8, 1984.
Also charged was Drax Quartermain, 45, also known as Russell Anthony Weston and the suspected hit man in Ewing's death.
San Mateo County Deputy Dist. Atty. Charles L. Constantinides, who is handling the case, said McIntosh "is still under investigation." McIntosh and Anthony have denied involvement in the crime.
Sheriff's Detective Miff Singleton was quoted by the Associated Press as saying that he expects McIntosh to be arrested soon in the murder-for-hire case.
Singleton said investigators believe that Ewing may have been blackmailing McIntosh and Anthony, secret owners of First International Trading Co., a heavily advertised firm that claimed to sell gold and silver options. In the course of 18 months in 1984 and 1985, the company bilked investors out of $18 million.
McIntosh and Anthony eventually were sent to prison for their roles in the precious metal swindle, and it was while he was serving this term that McIntosh escaped.
Anthony and Ewing were seen together in a coffee shop hours before Ewing's body, shot four times with a .38-caliber gun, was discovered, Constantinides said.
Anthony and McIntosh's company operated for a time from offices leased by Ewing. Several salesmen who worked for Anthony and McIntosh came from a Ewing company that sold applications to buy oil and gas leases in Alaska.
Singleton said law enforcement officials believe that a possible motive for the murder is that Ewing may have been demanding payments because he knew that McIntosh and Anthony had served time for previous frauds.
Anthony and McIntosh tried to keep their ownership of the firm secret. As convicts, they would have been unable to obtain state and federal securities licenses needed to sell the precious metals options.
Anthony was to be released from state prison Thursday after serving 18 months of a three-year sentence, but Constantinides asked state authorities to hold him pending the filing of the murder charges.
McIntosh escaped last year from the Federal Correctional Institute at Pleasanton. Then he hijacked a helicopter and flew it back to the prison, where convicted bank robber Dorinda Lopez, 37, was waiting. The couple were arrested 10 days later near Sacramento. Last Friday, McIntosh and Lopez were married in a secret ceremony and were then sentenced by U.S. District Judge Eugene Lynch to 25 years and five years, respectively, for the escape.