Orange County convicted killer who ditched halfway house is rearrested in Mexico

Booking photo of Ike Souzer.
(Orange County district attorney’s office)

An Orange County man convicted of killing his mother was captured in Mexico after he failed to report to a halfway house in Santa Ana, violating the conditions of his probation, according to authorities.

Ike Nicholas Souzer, 20, was busted by U.S. Customs and Border Protection and Mexican officials in Rosarito on Wednesday after crossing the border into Mexico.

Souzer, who has been described by family and friends as autistic, had already served his sentence for stabbing his mother to death in 2017, when he was a minor. He was subsequently convicted on a vandalism charge and served a short sentence, then released from custody March 20, according to the Orange County district attorney’s office.


The judge in that case also sentenced Souzer to two years of probation.

After his last release, Souzer was transported to a halfway house in Santa Ana but left and never returned. He also failed to notify his probation officer of his whereabouts, which violated the conditions of his release, the district attorney said.

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Orange County Dist. Atty. Todd Spitzer laid blame at the feet of the judges who have handled Souzer’s cases.

“My prosecutors have spent years and years trying to do everything they can to keep this violent criminal behind bars, and at every turn, the very judges who are elected to protect public safety have done little to do so and instead have given him break after break after break,” he said in a statement.

Souzer was arrested in 2017 when he was just 13 for stabbing his mother outside her Garden Grove home, weeks after she said he had run away. She told police with her dying breath that her attacker was her son.

He was convicted of voluntary manslaughter, though his defense attorney argued that the killing was in self-defense and that Souzer had experienced years of abuse.

Spitzer’s office rebuked three separate judges for giving Souzer what prosecutors contend were light sentences for a series of offenses following the killing of his mother. Souzer has been charged with three attacks on correctional officers, possessing a shank in jail, and most recently, drawing graffiti on a freeway underpass.


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“This is not someone who deserves a break; he has turned every opportunity to turn over a new leaf into a new opportunity to break the law and defy law enforcement. He did not simply walk away and forget to check in with his probation officer,” Spitzer said.

This was the second time Souzer didn’t report back to the same halfway house. In 2022, he was let out of jail with an electronic monitor and was later found by police at a homeless encampment in Anaheim.

He also escaped a juvenile detention facility in 2019.