Death penalty sought in store manager shooting
The Orange County District Attorney’s Office has charged Jason Russell Richardson, a man accused of shooting and killing a Home Depot store manager, with one count of murder during the commission of a robbery, a special circumstances charge that carries the death penalty in California.
Richardson is being held without bail. According to the Tustin Police Department, the 37-year-old parolee has been previously convicted of rape, sexual assault on a minor, residential burglary, grand theft, possession of stolen property and narcotics charges.
The victim, assistant store manager Tom Egan, was shot and killed after he came to the assistance of a cashier being robbed at a Home Depot store in Tustin, Calif., on Feb. 9, 2007. The robber came into the store disguised in painter’s coveralls, dust mask and hard hat. Based on DNA evidence left at the scene, police arrested Richardson two weeks later.
Aformer U.S. Marine, Egan is survived by his wife and twin daughters, aged 4. He was an employee of Home Depot for 13 years.
Hovnanian sales fall in the first quarter
K. Hovnanian, a national home builder with operations in 19 states, reported wider losses in the first quarter on an unsteady housing market.
The company reported losses of $130.9 million, wider than the $54.6 million in losses reported in the same period last year.
Sales were $1.09 billion, down 6.4 percent from $1.165 billion in the same period last year.
In the first quarter, the company delivered 3,604 homes, an increase of 10.3 percent from 3,266 home in the first quarter of 2007, not including unconsolidated joint ventures.
“Market conditions remain challenging across many of our markets,” said company president and CEO Ara K. Hovnanian. “We continue to focus on reducing our inventories, maximizing cash flow and shrinking our overhead to ensure that we properly manage the difficult market conditions we currently face.”
The company recorded $94 million in pre-tax, land-related charges, an amount virtually unchanged from similar land-related charges of $93 million recorded in the same period last year.
Hovnanian is headquartered in Red Bank, N.J.
Toro sees stronger earnings in the first quarter
Outdoor products company Toro reported stronger earnings in the first quarter, buoyed by a strong increase in professional segment sales and international demand.
Earnings rose less than 1 percent to $18.63 million from $18.45 million last year. Sales were up 7 percent to $405.8 million, from $379.1 million in the same period last year.
Sales and earnings rose in the company’s professional segment, “including a strong demand from golf and grounds equipment customers,” the company said.
The company’s residential segment also saw increases, primarily from strong sales of snowthrowers and “TimeCutter” zero-turning radius lawnmowers.
The growth was attributed to “strong contributions from our international business,” said Michael Hoffman, chairman and CEO of Toro. “While we’re concerned about the increasing domestic economic uncertainty, we believe our competitive position is strong, and we are well-positioned for the upcoming season,” he said.
Toro is based in Bloomington, Minn. The company manufactures outdoor maintenance and beautification products for home, recreation and commercial landscapes.