OAKLAND -- A remorseful Althea Housley was sent to prison for 15 years and 8 months Tuesday after admitting she helped her boyfriend rob four people in two separate incidents one of which resulted in a Google job applicant being killed.
Housley, 36, admitted participating in the crimes with George Huggins, 26, as part of a plea deal in which she was spared a lifetime in prison in exchange for her testimony against the man she considered her soul mate.
Her testimony was a pivotal piece of evidence in the murder trial against Huggins as Housley was able to give the jury vivid details about the robberies and identify herself and Huggins as the people who committed the crimes.
All four robberies occurred at night as the victims were walking to their cars on otherwise deserted downtown Oakland streets. The first robbery occurred on June, 21, 2010, and resulted in a man being shot. The second robbery occurred July 18, 2010, and resulted in the shooting death of Jinghong Kang, 45, on the 1900 block of Webster Street on a Sunday night.
Housley, who apologized to the victims' families Tuesday, said during the trial that she and Huggins decided to rob because they needed money after having spent their monthly welfare and food stamp allowance.
Before taking the plea deal, Housley faced 30 years to life in prison for the crimes.
Under the deal, Housley pleaded guilty to voluntary manslaughter, second-degree robbery, attempted robbery and several gun enhancements. As a result, she was sentenced to almost 16 years in prison and must serve at least 13 years before she is eligible for parole.
"I'm very sorry about my actions," Housley said. "I apologize. It would not have happened if I was in my right mind."
Housley's defense attorney, Deputy public defender Mark McGoldrick said his client was honest in admitting her crimes and about her abuse of alcohol, marijuana and cocaine which helped lead to bad decisions.
"She has been very candid about how sorry she is and about her use of alcohol and drugs," McGoldrick said.
Deputy district attorney Tim Wellman said the sentencing Tuesday closes one chapter of the case.
"This closes one chapter in the case. When Mr. Huggins is sentenced June 3, that will close the final chapter," Wellman said.
Huggins faces life in prison without the possibility of parole.