Arraignment for suspect in death of East Village business owner

Posted at 9:04 AM, Oct 19, 2018
and last updated 2018-10-19 21:13:29-04

SAN DIEGO (CNS) - A man who allegedly murdered the proprietor of an East Village flooring-materials store at the victim's downtown business while wearing a Halloween-style old-lady mask pleaded not guilty Friday at the downtown courthouse.

Kevin Eugene Cartwright, 51, allegedly killed 49-year-old Ghedeer "Tony" Radda of El Cajon last week at Bottom Price Flooring in the 1000 block of G Street. Prosecutors said Cartwright took cash from the register after shooting Radda multiple times.

Homicide detectives arrested Cartwright Wednesday in El Cajon on suspicion of murder and robbery. It was unclear what led police to identify Cartwright as the suspected killer.

Cartwright was convicted of at least eight separate robberies in 1989 and served 10 years in prison, prosecutors told 10News. He is being held on $5 million bond.

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A customer made an emergency call shortly after 3:30 p.m. Oct. 10 to report finding Radda dead in his store. 

A surveillance camera at the victim's downtown business captured images of the suspected murderer, who was accompanied by a woman wearing blue jeans, a dark jacket and a purple wig. She remains unidentified and at large.

Police believe the woman lured Radda from his back office.

Radda, who owned and operated his flooring business for 16 years, is survived by his wife and two daughters, ages 8 and 5, according to a page set up to assist his family.

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A statement on the donation website memorializes the victim as a "charming, soft-spoken man with a heart of gold."

"Ghedeer meant everything to his family," the online tribute states. "Together, they have lost a husband, father, son, brother, cousin, uncle and nephew whom they loved immensely."