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Widow: Home Depot murder ‘devastated, destroyed’ her

By LARRY WELBORN / THE ORANGE COUNTY REGISTER
Published: Nov. 29, 2011 Updated: Aug. 21, 2013 1:17 p.m.

SANTA ANA – The widow of a Home Depot store manager who was shot to death during a botched robbery in 2007 said she was shocked when her husband’s murderer interrupted her victim-impact statement at his sentencing by shouting, “I didn’t kill anyone, I’m innocent.”

A.J. Egan, whose husband, Tom, was shot down Feb. 9, 2007, as he tried to protect his employees at the Tustin Marketplace Home Depot, was just starting her poignant statement Monday to Superior Court Judge William Froeberg when convicted killer Jason Russell Richardson started blurting out his claims of innocence.

“I didn’t kill her husband,” Richardson yelled. “I didn’t do it.”

Egan, in the meanwhile, continued reading her prepared statement – sometimes in tears – in which she said that her life “will never be as I once dreamed it would be.” She also lamented about the loss of her husband as a father to their twin daughters, who were 3 years old when Tom Egan was killed.

Richardson also said he was tired of hearing the widow’s story before Froeberg threatened to remove him from the courtroom if he continued his outburst. Egan had testified about the impact of her husband’s murder three times during penalty phase trials for Richardson. Two of those trials ended in hung juries, but a third jury last month recommended that Richardson receive the death penalty.

Froeberg, after he listened to Egan’s words Monday, agreed with the recommendation and sentenced Richardson to death. “The court has never seen a more egocentric individual,” the judge said.

Deputy District Attorney Cameron Talley said later that Egan’s victim-impact statement was one of the most articulate and eloquent statements he had ever heard of in a sentencing hearing.

Here is Egan’s victim-impact statement in its entirety:

“Honorable Judge Froeberg:

“Thank you for affording me this opportunity to address you and allowing my feelings and voice to be heard.

“My name is A.J. Egan, and Thomas Egan Jr. was my husband. Tom was not only the love of my life, but he was the father of my children, my best friend, my soul mate, my strength, and my protector. He was my world.

“On February 9, 2007, Jason Richardson permanently tore my life apart, robbed me of my world, and stripped me of my happiness, my hopes, and my dreams when he murdered my husband Tom. We dreamed of following in my parent’s footsteps, forty-eight years married, but this will never happen.

“Instead, I am a lonely widow and single mother to our twin daughters, Jenna and Katie. I am doing my best to provide for them and raise them in a normal home, trying to be both their mother and their father, trying to give our daughters that life we talked and dreamed about.

“But how do you make a home normal and complete when it’s broken, when it’s missing my husband and their father? You can’t. My life has been devastated and destroyed and it will never be as I had once dreamed it would be. And our daughters’ lives will forever carry a loss.

“To me this is the most tragic because their father was killed for nothing. It was a senseless crime committed by a man with complete disregard for the importance of human life. This man has taken their father from them, along with every memory their future should have held with their father (baptism, first days of school, first communion, first date, graduation, their wedding, birth of their children and everything yet to come in their future).

Contact the writer: lwelborn@ocregister.com or 714-834-3784

Originally posted: http://www.ocregister.com/articles/father-329096-egan-husband.html

Article Copy: Widow: Home Depot murder ‘devastated, destroyed’ her