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Boy Charged With Murder Escapes From Juvenile Hall

June 05, 1988|MARCIDA DODSON | Times Staff Writer

A 17-year-old boy charged with murder remained at large Saturday after escaping from Orange County Juvenile Hall by breaking a window, authorities said.

John Mitchell Richardson, accused of gunning down the owner of a check-cashing business as he opened up shop last month, escaped about 9:55 p.m. Friday, said Lt. Larry Abbott of the Sheriff's Department.

Richardson, who had earlier escaped from a juvenile correctional facility in Chino, slipped away from Orange County Juvenile Hall with a second inmate, a 16-year-old boy, authorities said.

Asked to Be Picked Up

They broke a window in the maximum security unit of the hall's detention center, 331 The City Drive, Orange, Abbott said.

The other escapee, Mark William Harwell, who had been in Juvenile Hall for violation of a court order unrelated to Richardson's case, called Anaheim police about 4:30 a.m. Saturday and asked to be picked up, Anaheim Sgt. Gary Querry said. Officers went to the 7-Eleven at 101 W. Katella Ave. and picked him up, returning him to Juvenile Hall, Querry said. They did not know until later that Richardson had escaped.

Querry said that he did not know why Harwell had surrendered but that there was no indication at the time that anyone else was involved.

Investigators Searching

Investigators will try to question Harwell about Richardson, Abbott said.

Investigators from the Sheriff's Department were searching for Richardson, Abbott said. Santa Ana police had also been notified, he said. Authorities do not know whether Richardson is armed. But, Abbott said, "he's committed murder, so I don't know what length he'll go to to stay out."

Richardson was described as black, 5 feet, 10 inches tall, weighing 145 pounds. He has black hair and brown eyes. When he escaped, he was wearing a maroon T-shirt and jeans.

According to Santa Ana police, Richardson was arrested on suspicion of murder and robbery after he and two others got in a shoot-out with Philip Brower of Corona del Mar as the 64-year-old man and his son were opening the Cash Unlimited store at 1509 N. Main St., Santa Ana, on May 2. Brower fired back, and one of the three assailants was killed.

Richardson and the remaining suspect were arrested a short time later after a pickup truck identified by a witness as a getaway vehicle was traced to an Irvine address. Richardson originally told police his name was James Dewane Jones, 19, Santa Ana police said. At the time of his arrest, he was listed as a runaway from the Boy's Republic youth correctional facility in Chino.

The shoot-out occurred on a Monday--generally the slowest day of the week in the check-cashing business, the slain man's son, David Brower, 33, said later. He said his father probably had no more than $500 with him.

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