Orange County District Attorney Press Release
For Immediate Release, Case # 08CF1591: September 3, 2013
SANTA ANA – A Hawaii man was sentenced today to life in state prison without the possibility of parole plus an additional five years in state prison for 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.
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 prosecuted this case.
Tony Rackauckas, District Attorney 401 Civic Center Drive West Santa Ana, CA 92701
Susan Kang Schroeder Chief of Staff Office: 714-347-8408 Cell: 714-292-2718
Farrah Emami Spokesperson Office: 714-347-8405 Cell: 714-323-4486