OAKLAND -- George Huggins glared at his ex-girlfriend as she sat on the witness stand Tuesday preparing to tell a jury details of how the couple allegedly killed a man and almost killed another during two downtown robberies in 2010.
Althea Housley, 36, turned to her right and looked at Huggins with an emotionless blank stare knowing in a few minutes she was about to give a prosecutor information that could possibly send the man she once considered a soul mate to prison for life.
"My idea was that we was boyfriend and girlfriend," Housley said when asked about the couple's relationship. "I loved him."
That love, Housley said, led her down a destructive path that resulted in her participating in four robberies, an attempted murder and ultimately, the murder of a man visiting Oakland for a job interview.
"It was his idea to go rob people; I thought it was bad but I still went anyway," said Housley, a high school dropout. "I wanted to be with him. I just wanted to be around him, be in his world."
Housley decided to testify against Huggins earlier this year when she was offered a plea deal in exchange for her truthful explanation of what happened when the couple purportedly robbed four people on two separate occasions in June and July of 2010.
One of the robberies resulted in a man being shot in the leg. The other resulted in Jinghong Kang, 45, being killed after he was shot in the chest.
Housley was charged with the same crimes as Huggins when the couple was arrested on July 24, 2010. She was charged with murder, attempted murder and four robberies and faced 30 years to life in prison.
With the plea deal, Housley admitted to a voluntarymanslaughter, two second-degree robberies and one attempted second-degree robbery. She must serve 15 years in prison.
Housley said she never thought the couples' robbery idea would lead to murder and said she was angry with Huggins for shooting Ivan Gomez during their first robbery attempt on June 21, 2010.
Housley said the couple had no detailed plan for the robbery. They simply walked out of an apartment they shared on Athens Street toward downtown, looking for vulnerable targets.
In the early morning hours they spotted Gomez and his girlfriend Margarita Bermudez talking near a car on 17th Street.
"They was just out there, and we didn't see nobody else," Housley said of why they targeted Gomez and Bermudez. "George said he was going to rob them, and I just took it upon myself to do what I did."
Housley said she ran up to the couple with Huggins, grabbed Bermudez by the hair and forced her to the ground. As Housley was demanding money from the woman, she said she saw Huggins point a gun at Gomez and demand the same. Seconds later she heard a gun shot and said Huggins had shot the man in the leg.
Housley said she and Huggins then ran from the scene and later that morning discussed the robbery.
"I was upset because he shot the man, I asked why did you shoot him," she said. "He was like shocked, like he was like, 'I don't know why, I don't know why.'"
Despite that experience, Housley said she agreed about a month later to seek out more victims with Huggins.
This time, Housley said, the couple walked toward the city's Uptown neighborhood and spotted Kang and a friend talking outside of a car in the 1900 block of Webster Street.
It was about 11:30 p.m. on July 18, 2010 and Housley said she and Huggins decided to rob Kang and his friend because they too were alone on a deserted street.
"We ran up on them like the last people," she said. "I just did what I did with the last lady."
As Housley held Kang's friend on the ground, Huggins pointed his gun at Kang and demanded money, she said. Within seconds, she said, she heard two gun shots.
Kang died shortly after from a gun wound to the chest. The bullet ripped through Kang's heart, lung, stomach and finally came to rest in his colon. The other bullet ripped through Kang's thigh.
Housley said the robbery resulted in the couple getting $17, a GPS device and a Chase credit card.
Housley will continue testifying Wednesday.