OAKLAND -- Broke after having spent their monthly welfare allowance and needing food after using up their food stamps, Althea Housley and George Huggins decided to rob people, Housley testified Wednesday.
After spending the night drinking beer and smoking marijuana, Housley said Huggins, her boyfriend at the time, came up with the idea to rob people for money, and she agreed to go along.
The couple's first robbery on June 21, 2010 resulted in a man being shot in the leg; the second robbery, about a month later, resulted in a Google applicant Jinghong Kang, 45, being killed.
Housley gave more details about the robberies and how they came about as she took the witness stand for the second day Wednesday to testify against the man she once considered her soul mate.
Housley decided to testify against Huggins when she was offered a plea deal earlier this year that guaranteed her a prison release date in 15 years in exchange for her truthful explanations about what occurred during the robberies.
Before making the deal, Housley faced a 30 years to life prison term as she was charged with murder, attempted murder and four robberies for participating in the crimes. It's now a prison term her ex-boyfriend Huggins faces because he was charged with the same crimes.
Housley, 36, said Huggins, 26, came up with the plan to rob people in downtown Oakland and said he was the person that carried a gun to both robberies and pulled the trigger
"We was at home, we didn't have no money and he said we should go out and rob somebody and I agreed," Housley said. "I didn't have any food, we had run out of food stamps. My (three) kids were hungry."
Like she did the day before, Housley remained emotionless as she was questioned even as she talked about witnessing a murder and testifying against a man she said she still loved.
Her demeanor remained the same even as she was questioned by Huggins' defense attorney Anne Beles, who suggested in opening statements that Housley would lie to the jury and pin the murder on Huggins just to get her plea deal.
Housley admitted she took the plea deal to avoid a lifetime in jail but said everything they told the jury over the last day was the truth.
"I didn't want to do life in jail," Housley said, when explaining why she agreed to the deal.