Prosecutors will seek the death penalty in the capital murder case of 27-year-old Lee Andrew Foster, the accused in the fatal Father’s Day double-shooting at a Conway motel.
Deputy Prosecuting Attorney Carol Crews, standing in for fellow Deputy Prosecuting Attorney Troy Braswell, told the court of the prosecution’s decision during Foster’s hearing Wednesday afternoon in Faulkner County Circuit Court.
The decision comes one week after prosecutors filed a notice of aggravating circumstances.
"The state hereby puts (Foster) and his counsel on notice that it intends to introduce evidence of aggravating circumstances," the Oct. 22 notice states.
The notice further states the prosecution "alleges the defendant, in the commission of the capital murder, knowingly created a great risk of death to persons other than the victim in the same criminal episode."
Foster, of Morrilton, also faces charges of first-degree battery, aggravated assault and possession of a firearm by a certain person for his alleged involvement in the June 16 motel shooting.
Conway police responded to the motel, located at 1105 Skyline Drive, around 1:30 a.m. on Father’s Day, and discovered 23-year-old Quenton Alexander — a relative of Foster — shot to death in the parking lot. A 20-year-old Vilonia man was also injured in the shooting, but police say he was unrelated to an "ongoing feud" between Foster and Alexander.
Foster is represented by Teri Chambers and Joe Tobler of the Arkansas Public Defender Commission. Tobler appeared with Foster before Judge Mike Maggio on Wednesday.
Tobler said the defense has a trip planned for January, regarding the case, and should have an idea on how much time it would need for a jury trial following the trip.
Maggio set Foster’s next pretrial hearing for Jan. 29, 2014.
Foster was arrested in Morrilton on June 20, along with 19-year-old Sierra Cook, who also appeared in Circuit Court on Wednesday morning.
Following an Oct. 7 hearing regarding Cook, public defenders were set to be appointed to the Morrilton teen, also charged with capital murder in the fatal Father’s Day double-shooting. However, private attorney Frank Shaw announced Wednesday he would remain as counsel.
Cook, originally charged with hindering the apprehension of Foster, was additionally charged with the class Y felony in September.
Cook was originally represented by two private attorneys, including Shaw, who were set to be relieved at the teen’s last court hearing. Shaw informed the court Wednesday he was being retained as private counsel, and officially entered, once again, as Cook’s attorney.
Maggio set Cook’s next pretrial hearing for Dec. 2.
Braswell contended discovery in the case has been complete since Sept. 25, and said the prosecution has waited for defense issues, regarding Cook’s representation, to subside.
Maggio set the next pretrial date after Shaw told the court the defense would not be ready for another hearing in November.
(Staff writer Lee Hogan can be reached by email at email@example.com or by phone at 505-1246. Follow Lee Hogan on Twitter at twitter.com/LCD_LeeHogan. To comment on this and other stories, log on to thecabin.net.)