On July 18, 2010, Jinghong Kang flew from Virginia to the Bay Area to interview for a job at Google. Hours later, at 11:31 p.m., he was dying on a sidewalk in downtown Oakland.

George Huggins, the man charged with shooting and robbing Kang that night, went on trial Wednesday in Alameda County Superior Court. Prosecutors say he took $17 from Kang before shooting him to death.

Huggins is also accused of a similar armed robbery on June 21, 2010, involving a couple, Ivan Gomez and Margarita Bermudez. Police said Huggins robbed and shot Gomez while his girlfriend, Althea Housley, held down Bermudez. Gomez survived.

Huggins has pleaded not guilty to charges of murder, two counts of armed robbery and one count of attempted robbery.

Authorities never found the .22-caliber semi-automatic used in both shootings. But deputy district attorney Tim Wellman said trial testimony and other evidence would show Huggins is guilty.

"The case is not complicated. It's not a mystery," Wellman told a jury of eight women and four men Wednesday during opening statements in the trial.

Defense attorney Annie Beles said the evidence would show that "George Huggins did not commit" either of the attacks.

Beles said Huggins was not with Housley during either of the robberies and could not be identified by a police informant, a friend of Housley, who reported the couple to police. Surveillance video from three cameras stationed outside nearby office buildings never clearly showed the figures who walked toward Kang as he sat in his rental car with a friend at 11:25 p.m.


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Kang was discussing directions back to his hotel in Mountain View with Hai Huang, a church acquaintance who had just cleaned his teeth as a favor. She had first fixed him soup at her Berkeley home before they drove to her Lake Merritt Dental practice at 1900 Webster St.

They were attacked outside the building.

Huang testified Wednesday that the robbery and Kang's slaying took no longer than five minutes.

She said one of the attackers pulled her to the ground by the hair and forced her to lay facedown behind Kang's car. She said she heard Kang praying and then heard gunfire. The attackers fled on Webster toward 20th Street and disappeared into a parking lot.

Huang, who called 911, received a lump on the head and scratches on her hand. Kang died by the time paramedics arrived.

Huggins' fate hangs on surveillance video footage and the testimony of Housley, who accepted a plea deal that would reduce her charges to voluntary manslaughter, armed robbery and two counts of robbery.

Housley had initially denied her involvement to investigators, who found her fingerprint on the passenger side door of Kang's rental car. Later she admitted to holding down Huang as well as Bermudez, the female victim in the June 21 armed robbery. But Housley claimed Huggins shot both men, according to Wellman.

Another man who was in jail with Huggins told authorities that Huggins admitted killing Kang and will testify against him in exchange for not having to serve a sentence at Santa Rita Jail.

Wendy Wang, the slain man's widow, testified Wednesday about the trip her husband made to Oakland for a job interview at Google. While on the stand, she avoided looking at Huggins.

Later, she said she misses her husband and the couple's three children are still devastated.

"Even though I'm here, I know I can't bring him back," she said.

A Kang family fund has been created at Metropolitan Bank in Oakland to accept donations to help Wang financially with her three children, ages 20, 14 and 13.

Testimony in the trial continues Thursday.