OAKLAND -- George Huggins was found guilty of first-degree murder Wednesday afternoon for robbing and then killing a Virginia man in downtown Oakland who came to town for a job interview with Google.
A jury of seven women and five men took about a day of deliberations to find Huggins guilty of firing three bullets into Jinghong Kang, 45, during a robbery on the 1900 block of Webster Street on a Sunday night in July 2010.
One of the bullets entered Kang's chest and tore through his heart. Huggins was also found guilty of two robberies, an attempted robbery and a special circumstance of murder during the course of a robbery.
Huggins, 26, faces life in prison without the possibility of parole when he is sentenced on April 18.
"The defendant's conduct was outrageous, and he deserves the sentence that awaits him," said deputy district attorney Tim Wellman. "Jinghong Kang completely complied with the robbery and still the defendant saw fit to blast a bullet through his heart."
Huggins' robbery of Kang was one of four he and his ex-girlfriend Althea Housley, 36, committed in June and July of 2010 during which another man was also shot but not killed.
Jurors heard a detailed description of each robbery and the murder of Kang from Housley, who took a plea deal in exchange for her testimony against the man she once considered a soul mate.
Housley's testimony, delivered in a matter-of-fact manner, walked jurors through the couple's thoughts and actions when they hastily planned and carried out robberies of four people in two separate incidents. Her descriptions matched other evidence presented in the case including testimony from victims and security camera surveillance video that recorded the pair walking toward and running from the robbery.
Housley told the jury that the couple decided to rob because they ran out of money and food after having spent their monthly welfare and food stamp allowance.
She testified that the couple targeted Kang because he and a woman were standing alone outside of a car on an otherwise abandoned Webster Street at about 11:30 p.m. July 18, 2010.
Housley said the couple ran up on Kang and the woman and that Huggins pulled out a handgun and demanded money. Within minutes, Housley said, she heard three gun shots and then she and Huggins ran away. She said the couple stole $10, a Chase credit card and a GPS device from Kang.
Kang had come to Oakland to get his teeth cleaned at a dental office of a friend who had offered to do so for free. At the time he was robbed, he was getting directions from the friend, other testimony revealed.
Housley faced 30 years to life in prison for helping Huggins but agreed to testify against him, and pleaded guilty to several robberies and voluntary manslaughter. In exchange, she will receive a guaranteed prison release date in 15 years and eight months.
Anne Beles, Huggins defense attorney, said that Housley lied and placed the blame on Huggins because she believed that was the best way to avoid a lengthy prison term after a police detective told her in an interrogation that he believed Huggins was involved in the crime.
"I am disappointed in the verdict, and we will be filing an appeal," Beles said.