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Youth detention center escapee faces witness intimidation charges

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This famous teenager allegedly beat a murder rap by sending his goons to scare off witnesses that planned to testify against him.

The trial of Josue Orozco, 19, who at age 14 was the youngest person charged as an adult for murder in San Mateo County, ended with a deadlocked jury. He had been accused of killing a rival gang member, though during the trial he said he wasn’t a Sureño gang banger.

But he still faces the heat, as prosecutors charge that during the trial, Orozco penned letters and used the jail phone to get his girlfriend and four fellow gang members on the outside to frighten witnesses.

The group is headed for a multiday preliminary hearing Wednesday morning that may end up being rescheduled, prosecutors said.

It wasn’t the only time Orozco jimmied the jail system in the name of freedom. His fame as a wily felon arose in 2008, when he escaped a youth detention facility, exposing holes in the county’s jail security.

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His alleged fellow conspirators include Alexandro Villar, 19, Arturo Becerra, 19, Edgar Cibrian, 20, Cesar Ponce, 20, and Bianca Aguillon, 19. Four of the six felons are facing life sentences, prosecutors said.

They are all in custody.

maldax@sfexaminer.com



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