An ex-con who allegedly killed the proprietor of an East Village flooring-materials store at the victim’s downtown business during a robbery pleaded not guilty Friday to a murder charge that could lead to the death penalty if he’s convicted.
Kevin Eugene Cartwright, 51, was ordered held on $5 million bail in the death of 49-year-old Ghedeer “Tony” Radda of El Cajon.
The defendant faces a charge of murder with special circumstance allegations of murder during a robbery and murder during a burglary.
District Attorney Summer Stephan will decide later whether Cartwright will face life in prison without the possibility of parole or capital punishment if he’s found guilty.
Radda, a married father of two young children, was fatally shot at his Bottom Price Flooring store in the 1000 block of G Street on Oct. 10 about 3:30 p.m.
Deputy District Attorney Matthew Greco called the attack on Radda “a calculated, violent and lethal ambush.”
Radda was lured into a back room by a woman wearing a purple wig, Greco said. Cartwright then allegedly came into the room, shot Radda multiple times, and took money from the register, the prosecutor said.
The woman fled in the defendant’s car and remains at large, according to Greco, who said Cartwright fled on foot.
Homicide detectives arrested Cartwright on Wednesday in El Cajon.
Greco said Cartwright went to prison for 10 years for a series of eight robberies in 1989 and was sent back to prison in 2005 after being convicted of possession of drugs.
He’s due back in court on Oct. 24 for a bail review. A status conference was scheduled for Nov. 15.
Anyone with information on the female suspect was asked to call Crime Stoppers at (888) 580-8477.
— City News Service