Alleged accomplices in teen's jail break plead not guilty

Two teens accused of helping murder suspect Josue Raul Orozco break out from a juvenile detention center pleaded not guilty Tuesday to charges of aiding the escape.

Martin Villa Patino and Vanher Cho, both 18, are each being held at San Mateo county jail on $200,000 bail following their arraignment Tuesday. Patino and Cho were arrested Friday night on charges that they boosted Orozco up a wall after playing basketball together at the county Youth Services Center, San Mateo County Sheriff’s Department Lt. Mark Alcantara said.

They were transferred to Maguire Correctional Facility in Redwood City that night, where they were booked on charges of aiding an escape, conspiracy and committing a gang crime, Chief Deputy District Attorney Steve Wagstaffe said.

“Both of them participated in a previously planned escape attempt,” said Deputy District Attorney Joseph Cannon, arguing for a bail higher than the $50,000 standard.

Patino is known to belong to the same faction of the Sureño street gang as Orozco, said Cannon.

Orozco, 17, was in custody at the Youth Services Center awaiting trial on charges that he killed 21-year-old Francisco Rodriguez in July of 2005. Orozco is the youngest person to be charged as an adult for murder in San Mateo County, Chief Deputy District Attorney Steve Wagstaffe said.

Cannon would not disclose why Patino or Cho were in custody, though he said Patino was nearing the end of his sentence, while Cho has not yet been sentenced on his charges.

Patino and Cho will return to court for a preliminary hearing Feb. 27.

bwinegarner@examiner.com

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