BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KGET) — A man who escaped from Lerdo Jail almost two months ago and is accused in the shooting death of 3-year-old Major Sutton made his first court appearance since being recaptured.
Tyrone Johnson, 24, pleaded not guilty Wednesday to charges filed in connection with the escape and a chase that occurred earlier this week culminating in his arrest. Bruce Davis, 23, who police say was in the car with Johnson during the chase, also pleaded not guilty.
The next hearing on those charges is scheduled July 19.
Johnson and David Palms, 22, are both charged with murder and other offenses in the Nov. 10, 2017, killing of Major. Gunmen kicked open the door to the apartment where the boy lived and opened fire, hitting him, his pregnant mother and his then-5-year-old brother. His mother and brother survived.
Major’s mother was living with a documented West Side Crips gang member when the shooting occurred, and both Johnson and Palms are members of the rival East Side Crips gang.
A third defendant, Myeisha Dale, was accused of driving Johnson and Palms from the scene. Charges against her were dismissed following her death in March. A cause of death has not been released.
According to court documents, Johnson and Palms cut through the ceiling of their cell on April 28 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 until his arrest Monday.
Johnson and Palms have a hearing July 16 in the murder case.