|For Immediate Release
October 12, 2011
|Susan Kang Schroeder
Chief of Staff
MAN FACES DEATH PENALTY PHASE TRIAL AFTER BEING CONVICTED OF MURDERING HOME DEPOT MANAGER DURING STORE ROBBERY
SANTA ANA – A San Diego man faces a penalty phase jury trial tomorrow to determine if he should receive the death penalty after being convicted of shooting and murdering a Tustin Home Depot Manager. Jason Russell Richardson, 40, Oceanside, was found guilty by a jury April 28, 2010, of one felony count of special circumstances murder during the commission of robbery and burglary, and the sentencing enhancements for the personal discharge of a firearm causing death were found true.
The District Attorney is seeking the death penalty in this case. Two pervious juries were unable to reach a verdict regarding death on May 20, 2010, and April 15, 2011. Opening statements in the re-trial of the penalty phase are expected to begin tomorrow, Thursday, Oct. 13, 2011, at 9:00 a.m. in Department C-40, Central Justice Center, Santa Ana.
On the morning of Feb. 9, 2007, Richardson left his Oceanside home wearing a full-body painter’s suit, sunglasses, dust mask, and gloves. At approximately 10:00 a.m., Richardson entered a Home Depot store in Tustin carrying a black bag with the intention of stealing money from the store. He wore a disguise to avoid being recognized while trying to blend in with customers in the store.
The defendant approached store employees and asked for the manager. Richardson approached store manager Thomas Egan, pulled out a gun, and demanded all the cash kept in the store’s safe. After Egan informed Richardson he did not have access to the safe, the defendant headed towards the store’s front cash registers. Egan instructed nearby employees to call 911 and then followed Richardson to the front of the store.
The defendant attempted to rob an employee at gunpoint and ignored Egan, who was trying to discourage him from harming or robbing anyone. Richardson then turned and murdered the victim by shooting him in the stomach. The defendant stepped over the victim’s body with his firearm pointed at another employee. He continued his robbery, stealing approximately $500 before fleeing the scene.
The victim was transported to Western Medical Center, where he underwent emergency surgery. He was pronounced dead approximately two hours later from massive internal bleeding caused by the gunshot wound. Egan, a retired U.S. Marine Sergeant, was a married father of young twin girls.