The death penalty trial for a man accused of the 2007 killing of the manager of a Home Depot in Tustin is scheduled to begin in less than an hour.
Opening statements are to be heard beginning at 9:30 a.m. at the Central Justice Center in Santa Ana, where Jason Russell Richardson, 39, of Oceanside, answers to one felony count of special circumstances murder during the commission of robbery and burglary with sentencing enhancements for the personal discharge of a firearm causing death.
The District Attorney's Office previously indicated it will seek the death penalty for Richardson.
He is accused of leaving home the morning of Feb. 9, 2007, wearing a full-body painter's suit, sunglasses, dust mask, and gloves.
Richardson allegedly entered the Home Depot around 10 a.m. that morning carrying a black bag. After approaching store employees and asking for the manager, he allegedly approached the manager, Thomas Egan, pulled out a gun and demanded all the cash in the store's safe.
Egan informed Richardson he did not have access to the safe, so the gunman tried to rob employees manning cash registers at the front of the store.
After Egan instructed nearby employees to call 9-1-1, he followed the gunman and tried to discourage him from harming or robbing anyone.
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That is when Richardson allegedly shot Egan in the stomach before fleeing the store with about $500.
Egan died of massive internal injuries about two hours after undergoing emergency surgery at Western Medical Center.
The retired U.S. Marine sergeant left behind a wife and 3-year-old twin girls.
Richardson, who was linked to the shooting through DNA evidence left at the store, was arrested on suspicion of murder Feb. 22, 2007, outside an Oceanside parole office.