|For Immediate Release
Case # 07NF3664 May 1, 2013
|Susan Kang Schroeder
Chief of Staff
HAWAII MAN CONVICTED OF 1987 COLD-CASE MURDER OF STRIP CLUB OWNER
SANTA ANA – A Hawaii man was convicted yesterday of murdering a strip club owner in 1987. Richard Curtis Morris, Jr., 59, formerly of Pearl City, HI, was found guilty by a jury, April 30, 2013, of one felony count of special circumstances murder in the commission of robbery, murder in the commission of rape, and murder for financial gain. Morris faces a sentence of life in prison without the possibility of parole at his sentencing June 14, 2013, at 9:30 a.m. in Department C-45, Central Justice Center, Santa Ana.
At approximately 11:00 p.m. on Jan. 2, 1987, Morris and an unidentified second man entered the Buena Park home of strip club owner James Stockwell. Morris and his accomplice bound and raped a female friend of Stockwell, who was in the home and did not know either of her attackers. Morris murdered Stockwell, who was shot in the head. Morris and his accomplice stole the victims’ personal items, including jewelry and credit cards.
The Buena Park Police Department collected evidence at the scene, but DNA technology was not available at that time and the case went cold. In early 2008, Morris’ DNA was linked to the 1987 rape through the national DNA database, where his DNA had been submitted stemming from an unrelated case in Hawaii. The Orange County District Attorney filed murder charges on May 27, 2008.
Senior Deputy District Attorney Michael Murray of the Homicide Unit is prosecuting this case.