LIMA — The victim — a former girlfriend and mother of one of his children — wrote a letter to Allen County Common Pleas Court Judge Jeffrey Reed requesting leniency for her attacker, Willie Foster.
Lima Senior head boys basketball coach Quincy Simpson spoke glowingly of Foster’s attributes as a father to his two sons during an in-person testimonial at the Lima man’s sentencing hearing Monday morning.
What, if any, role those factors played in Reed’s decision to sentence Foster to 6 1/2 years in prison — instead of the potential maximum of 15 years behind bars that had been agreed upon by prosecutors — only the judge can answer.
Reed sentenced Foster to five years in prison Monday on a charge of aggravated burglary and five years on a charge of kidnapping. Both first-degree felony counts will be served concurrently. On a fourth-degree felony count of domestic violence, Foster was sentenced to 18 months in prison, to be served consecutively to the other charges.
It was during day two of his jury trial last month that Foster struck a deal with prosecutors and pleaded no contest to five felony counts against him. Foster, 38, faced charges of aggravated burglary and kidnapping, first-degree felonies; attempted felonious assault, a third-degree felony; and two fourth-degree felony counts of domestic violence.
Police and prosecutors say Foster entered the locked Lima home of Kiera Watson, his former girlfriend, while the woman and her 3-year-old daughter were sleeping last July 8. The woman told police Foster slammed her head into a dresser, strangled her and told her he was going to kill her.
His displeasure reportedly stemmed from the woman’s relationship with a male other than Foster. After escaping their attacker, the woman and her child, Foster’s biological daughter, were treated at a Lima hospital for cuts and bruises.
Assistant Prosecuting Attorney Kenneth Sturgill asked for a lengthy sentence for Foster “to protect the public from future crimes from this defendant.” Sturgill said Foster “beat her (Watson) savagely about her head and face to teach her a lesson that she was not going to be around other men.”
“I’ve made life-altering mistakes,” Foster told the judge immediately before his sentence was handed down.
Reach J Swygart at 567-242-0464.