Thursday, January 15, 2004

CALIFORNIA STATE PRISON ESCAPEE, A FUGITIVE FOR 36 YEARS, ARRESTED

Three other escapees apprehended since Dec. 31.

(Sacramento) – On Jan. 9, Donald Johnson, who had escaped from Sierra Conservation Center in Jamestown in 1967, was arrested in Texas, announced the California Department of Corrections (CDC). Johnson had only served a little more than six months of a one to 15 year sentence for second-degree burglary from Riverside County when he escaped on July 7, 1967.

CDC agents with the Law Enforcement and Investigations Unit (LEIU) developed leads showing that Johnson, who had been on the run more than 36 years, was living in Tomball, Texas. They contacted law enforcement authorities there, who confirmed not only Johnson’s address, but his place of employment in nearby Houston. Johnson was arrested at his place of employment on Jan. 9 by the Harris County Sheriff’s Department’s Gulf Coast Violent Offenders Task Force.

Since Dec. 31, 2003, three other escaped state prison inmates were apprehended:

  • On Dec. 31, escapee Michael Dean Egger was arrested in Washington after escaping from a re-entry program on June 12, 1988. Egger, whose criminal history includes vehicle theft and narcotics violations, had lived in several states since his escape. He had been convicted in Santa Cruz County and had served only six months of his two-year sentence for vehicle theft. In 1992, Egger was arrested in Nebraska on charges including robbery, possession of a weapon for the purpose of committing an assault, and drugs. He was also arrested in Montana in 2000. LEIU agents found a probable address in Olympia, Washington, and the Thurston County Sheriff’s Warrants Division arrested Egger on Dec. 31, 2003.
  • On Jan. 6, escapee Brenda Sue Webb was arrested in North Carolina. She had escaped from a re-entry facility on Dec. 27, 1983. Webb’s criminal history includes welfare and food stamp fraud. She had served 15 months of a three-year sentence from Santa Clara County at the time of her escape. While a fugitive for the last 20 years, Webb had lived in other states and was using the alias of Brenda Webb Cruz. LEIU agents found out she had a Kentucky driver’s license and she was known to have received Social Security benefits in North Carolina. The Davie County Sheriff’s Department in North Carolina arrested Webb on Jan. 6.
  • On Jan. 6, escapee Susan Brounacker was arrested in Texas. She had escaped from the Malibu Conservation Camp on May 26, 1989 after serving only five months of a four year, four month sentence from Los Angeles County. Brounacker’s criminal history includes various drug charges, property crimes and vehicle theft. The LEIU developed information that Brounacker had earnings in San Antonio, Texas, as recent as 2002. The name and address of her probable employer was given to the San Antonio Police Department who apprehended Brounacker on Jan. 6.
Of all offenders that escaped from a state prison, conservation camp or community based program between 1945 and 2002, 99 percent have been apprehended.

MEDIA ACCESS FOR SCHEDULED EXECUTION

The execution of Kevin Cooper , convicted of four counts of first-degree murder with special circumstances, is set by court order for Tuesday, February 10, 2004, at San Quentin State Prison.

Access Inquiries:

Direct all requests and inquiries regarding access to San Quentin State Prison to the California Department of Corrections Communications Office in Sacramento, which is responsible for all media credentials. Requests are due by 5 p.m., Friday, January 30, 2004. (See “Credentials”)

Reporters:

Up to 125 news media representatives will be admitted to the media center building at San Quentin to attend news briefings and a news conference with members of the media witness pool after the execution. To accommodate as many media firms as possible, each news media organization applying will be limited to one (1) representative. Firms selected to send a news reporter to witness the execution will be allowed a separate representative for the media center.

Audio/Visual/Still Photographs:

In anticipation that interest may exceed space, pool arrangements may be necessary for audio/video feeds and still photos from inside the media center. The pool will be limited to two (2) television camera operators, two (2) still photographers, and one (1) audio engineer. The Northern California Radio Television News Directors’ Association and the Radio Television News Association in Southern California arrange the pool.

Live Broadcasts:

On-grounds parking is limited. Television and radio stations are limited to one (1) satellite or microwave vehicle.

Television Technicians:

Television technicians or microwave broadcast vehicles will be permitted three (3) support personnel (engineer, camera operator, and producer).

Radio Technicians:

Radio broadcast vehicles will be allowed two (2) support personnel (engineer and producer).

Credentials:

For media credentials, send a written request signed by the news department manager on company letterhead with the names of the proposed representatives, their dates of birth, driver’s license numbers, social security numbers, and size of vehicle for live broadcast purpose to:

CDC Communications
1515 S Street, Room 113S
P.O. Box 942883
Sacramento, California 94283-0001

All written requests must be received no later than 5 p.m. on Friday, January 30, 2004. Media witnesses will be selected from the requests received by that time. Telephone requests will NOT be accepted.

Security clearances are required for each individual requesting access to San Quentin. The clearance process will begin after the application deadline. No assurances can be provided that security clearances for requests, including personnel substitutions, received after the filing period closes January 30, will be completed in time to permit access to the prison between 7 and 10 p.m. on Monday, February 9, 2004.

Facilities:

The media center has 60-amp electrical service with a limited number of outlets. There are seven pay telephones. Media orders for private telephone hookups must be arranged with Pacific Bell. Pacific Bell will coordinate the actual installation with San Quentin. There is one soft drink vending machine at the media center. Media personnel should bring their own food. Media personnel are allowed to have a cellular telephone in the media center. Only broadcast microwave and satellite vans and their support personnel providing live feeds will be permitted in a parking lot near the In-Service Training (IST) building.