An Oakland woman testified Tuesday that she agreed to participate with her former boyfriend in a robbery that resulted in the shooting death of a victim because she just wanted to be with her then-boyfriend.
Referring to George Huggins, who’s accused of murder for the shooting death of a Virginia man in downtown Oakland in 2010 while the victim was visiting the Bay Area for a job interview at Google, Althea Housley, 36, said, “I just wanted to be around him and be in his world.”
The victim, 45-year-old Jinghong Kang, was fatally shot in the 1900 block of Webster Street at about 11:30 p.m. on July 18, 2010.
Housley said she also participated with Huggins in the robbery of a man and woman in the 1700 block of Telegraph Avenue early the morning of June 21, 2010, several weeks before Kang’s killing, even though she thought it was a bad idea.
Housley said that in the first incident “it was his (Huggins) idea to rob people.”
She said, “I thought it was bad but I still went along anyway” and she didn’t try to talk Huggins out of it.
Housley said she was “upset” that Huggins shot the male victim in the first incident in the leg, telling Huggins afterward, “You didn’t need to do it.”
She said Huggins “was like shocked” and told her he didn’t know why he shot the man.
Huggins is charged with murdering Kang and attempting to rob him as well as two counts of robbery for the June 21, 2010, incident.
Prosecutor Tim Wellman told jurors in his opening statement last week that police ballistics experts have determined that the same .22-caliber handgun was used in both incidents.
Wellman said Oakland police obtained video footage of the suspects in the July 18, 2010, incident that was captured by surveillance cameras at nearby businesses and Huggins and Housley were later arrested.
Housley had also faced a murder charge for allegedly being an accomplice in Kang’s shooting, but on Feb. 20 she pleaded guilty to the lesser charge of voluntary manslaughter and attempted robbery for that incident and to two counts of attempted robbery for the earlier incident on Telegraph Avenue.
Wellman said if her testimony against Huggins is found to be truthful she will receive a sentence of 15 years and eight months in state prison.
Huggins’ lawyer, Annie Beles, said in her opening statement that her client is innocent of murder and alleged that the person shown on video with Housley was not Huggins.
“The evidence will show that George Huggins didn’t commit this crime and wasn’t with her,” she said.
Beles said that during the trial, jurors “will hear (Housley’s) motives to say that George Huggins was with her” during both crimes.
Wellman told jurors last week that Huggins and Housley targeted Kang and his friend Hai Huang as they stood next to Kang’s rental car, because they “were vulnerable and were easy targets.”
Wellman said Kang had flown to the Bay Area because he had a job interview at Google the next day and he had driven his rental car to downtown Oakland to have his teeth cleaned by Huang, a dental hygienist whom Kang had met at a church conference.
He said Huggins and Housley worked together as a team, with Huggins approaching male victims and Housley approaching female victims, and that was what they did when they walked up to Kang and Huang.
Housley, who was dressed in a black shirt underneath a light brown sweater, testified that she got a tattoo with Huggins’ name in 2005 and 2010 she added the phrase “my soul mate” and hearts to the tattoo.
She also said Huggins had a tattoo indicating his love for her as well.
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