Escaped murder suspect Tyrone Johnson back in custody

Crime Watch

BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KGET) — Tyrone Johnson, the man arrested for the 2017 shooting of 3-year-old Major Sutton, is back in custody after escaping the Lerdo Justice Facility nearly two months ago.

The Bakersfield Police Department arrested Johnson after a pursuit, where the driver, Johnson, allegedly crashed on River Blvd and Bernard Street. BPD says Johnson was arrested, along with 23-year-old Bruce Davis. A loaded gun was found in the car, BPD said.

Court documents suggested that on April 28, Johnson and his alleged accomplice David Palms managed to cut through the ceiling of their cell, then got onto the roof and escaped down a flag pole near the facility. Palms was arrested that day in Shafter but Johnson evaded authorities for weeks.

Detentions deputies found stuffed dummies in the men’s bunk beds, apparently to fool guards. Investigators later discovered “NOW YOU SEE, NOW YOU DON’T” was written on their cell walls. On 17 News at Sunrise, Sheriff Donny Youngblood expressed concerns about why the two were kept in the same cell despite a prior escape attempt last year.

According to court documents, Johnson and Palms are members of the East Side Crips criminal street gang who killed Sutton when they opened fire inside his family’s apartment on Pershing Street, wounding the toddler’s pregnant mother and his older brother. Allegedly, she was living with a documented member of the rival West Side Crips, who wasn’t at the home during the attack. The escape happened just months before a hearing to determine if the case is ready to go to trial in July.

Palms has since pleaded not guilty to new felony charges stemming from the escape.

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