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Accomplice In Markowitz Killing Freed

New developments in a horrific chapter in Santa Barbara’s criminal history. It involves one of the the accomplices in the kidnap and murder of Nicholas Markowitz, 13 years ago.

Jesse Rugge, one of the four accomplices to ringleader Jesse James Hollywood, was released from the California Institution for Men in Chino at 6:30 a.m. Tuesday.

The five were convicted of kidnapping and/or killing the 15-year-old boy in August of 2000 in the hills above Goleta over a $1,200 dollar drug debt his brother allegedly owed Hollywood. Rugge was convicted for his role in the kidnap.

NewsChannel 3 spoke with the victim’s mother, Susan Markowitz, for her reaction.

“I hope that his picture is made available to everyone so they know what he looks like now,” Markowitz said. “I don’t want him to be comfortable in his environment because his environment is still my family’s environment.”

Markowitz said Rugge will be allowed to live in Calabasas, just three miles from some of her relatives, despite her insistence that he live far from her family. Markowitz believes Rugge is still a danger to society.

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