|For Immediate Release
Case # 07ZF0016 March 11, 2008
|Susan Kang Schroeder
Public Affairs Counsel
ORANGE COUNTY DISTRICT ATTORNEY
TO SEEK DEATH ON PAROLEE FOR
TUSTIN MURDER AT HOME DEPOT
SANTA ANA – The Orange County District Attorney announced today that he is seeking the death penalty on the parolee charged with shooting and murdering a store manager and father of two at a Home Depot in Tustin in February of 2007. Jason Russell Richardson, 37, Oceanside, is charged with one count of murder with the special circumstances of murder during the commission of a robbery and a burglary and a sentencing enhancement for the personal discharge of a firearm causing death. Richardson is being held without bail and is scheduled for pre-trial April 11, 2008 at 9:00 a.m. in Department C-4, Central Justice Center, Santa Ana.
At approximately 10:00 a.m. on February 9, 2007, Richardson is accused of entering a Home Depot at 2782 El Camino Real in Tustin wearing a painter’s mask, hardhat, and dust mask to disguise his identity. He is accused of walking to the front of the store and demanding cash from a store clerk. As the clerk removed cash from the register, Richardson is accused of turning and shooting the store manager, Thomas Egan, a father of two little girls, and then fleeing the scene.
Richardson was arrested on February 22, 2007 by the Tustin Police Department (TPD) during a meeting with his parole agent after being linked to the murder through DNA evidence. This case was investigated by the TPD.
When the death penalty is considered for any defendant, the Orange County District Attorney convenes a “Special Circumstances Committee” that includes a minimum of three prosecutors with extensive death penalty case experience. This Committee holds a hearing in which the prosecuting deputy district attorney presents the facts of the case. The defense is also given an opportunity to present mitigating evidence. The committee considers the strengths of the evidence, the seriousness of the crime, the damage to the community, and whether justice will be served by seeking the death penalty as to the defendant. The aggravating factors must clearly outweigh any mitigating factors and the Committee makes a recommendation to the District Attorney. The final decision is made by the District Attorney.
Senior Deputy District Attorney Cameron Talley of the Homicide Unit is prosecuting this case.