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Jermaine A. FOSTER





Classification: Murderer
Characteristics: Robbery - Kidnapping
Number of victims: 2
Date of murders: November 29, 1992
Date of birth: November 3, 1973
Victims profile: Anthony Clifton and Anthony Faiella
Method of murder: Shooting
Location: Osceola County, Florida, USA
Status: Sentenced to death on July 25, 1994

Florida Supreme Court

opinion 84228 opinion SC03-1331

DC#  310094
DOB:  11/03/73

Ninth Judicial Circuit, Osceola County Case # 93-346
Sentencing Judge: The Honorable Gary L. Formet, Sr.
Attorney, Trial: R. Kelly – Private
Attorney, Direct Appeal: George D.E. Burden – Assistant Public Defender
Attorney, Collateral Appeals:  Frank Bankowitz – Registry

Date of Offense: 11/29/92

Date of Sentence: 07/25/94

Circumstances of Offense:

Gerard Booker accrued gambling debts and decided to commit robberies to pay for his losses. 

On 11/28/92, Booker enlisted the aid of Jermaine Foster and Alf Catholic to carry out the robberies.  Armed with a .38-caliber handgun, a 9-millimeter handgun, and an Uzi-type automatic weapon, the trio went to an area of Auburndale, Florida known as “The Hill” and approached three unknown men who were selling drugs out of their truck. 

After forcing the victims to remove their clothing and lie on the ground, Foster, Catholic, and Booker stole the victims’ cash, jewelry, crack cocaine, and truck.

Foster and Catholic sold some of the stolen drugs, but the proceeds were not enough to cover Booker’s gambling losses.  The group of Foster, Catholic, Booker, and Leondra Henderson, who had joined the group after the other three robbed the drug dealers, decided to find a local drug dealer and rob him as well. 

The group left in the stolen truck, carrying the guns used in the previous robbery.  When the group was unable to find the intended victim, they drove to Osceola County to visit a girlfriend of Catholic and find other victims to rob.

At the house of Catholic’s girlfriend, Foster, Booker, Catholic, and Henderson decided to accompany Catholic’s girlfriend and some of her friends to the Palms Bar in St. Cloud, Florida.  Catholic and Foster rode with Catholic’s girlfriend, while Henderson and Booker followed in the stolen truck. 

During the drive to the bar, Foster and Catholic drank liquor and smoked marijuana.  When the group stopped for gas, they noticed that the truck had a broken fan belt that was causing the truck to overheat.  Booker stated that they would have to steal another car for the return ride home. 

While at the Palms Bar, Foster, Booker, Catholic, and Henderson found a group of three men and a woman that they targeted to rob.  The plan was to follow the group and rob them as they left the bar in a Nissan Pathfinder.  Foster told his coconspirators that if the victims did not have any money, he was going to kill them. 

In order to get the Pathfinder to stop, Catholic, who was driving the stolen truck, rammed the Pathfinder.  When the occupants came to inspect the damage, they were ordered at gunpoint to give up their money.  When they responded that they had no money, the victims were forced back into the Pathfinder, where Foster held them at gunpoint and Booker drove the Pathfinder.  Henderson and Catholic followed in the stolen truck.

When the stolen truck again experienced mechanical problems in the outskirts of Kissimmee, Florida, Catholic drove the truck off the main highway and to a vacant field, with Foster and Booker following in the Pathfinder.  All four of the victims were ordered out of the Pathfinder, and the woman was separated from the three men. 

The men were ordered to remove their clothes, and Foster had the men place their underwear and hands on their head and lie face down on the ground.  Foster then shot two of the men in the head, killing them instantly.  He shot the third man, but the man’s hand, which was on his head, stopped the bullet from killing him, although he pretended to be dead. 

Foster approached the woman to kill her, but Booker prevented Foster from doing so. Foster, Booker, Henderson, and Catholic left in the Pathfinder, which they later tried unsuccessfully to dispose of in a lake. 

Foster, Booker, Henderson, and Catholic were tried together for the crimes.

Codefendant Information:

Booker, Henderson, and Catholic were also indicted for the same crimes as Foster.

Henderson entered into a plea bargain and pled guilty to two counts of First-Degree Murder and one count of Attempted First-Degree Murder in exchange for testimony in state and federal trials.  He was sentenced to two concurrent life terms for the murder charges and fifteen years for the attempted murder charge.

Booker pled guilty to all charges and Catholic was found guilty of all charges.  Booker and Catholic were both sentenced to life imprisonment for the murder charges and twenty-seven years imprisonment for the other charges.

Additional Information:

Foster was tried and convicted in federal court on the following charges: Conspiracy to Commit Armed Carjacking, Armed Carjacking Resulting in Deaths, Armed Carjacking, and two counts of Carrying Firearms During and in Relation to a Violent Crime. 

Trial Summary:

11/09/93           Information filed with the following charges:

Count I              First-Degree Murder

Count II             First-Degree Murder

Count III            Attempted First-Degree Murder

Counts IV-VII      Kidnapping

02/10/94            Jury returned guilty verdicts on all counts of the indictment

03/25/94            Jury recommended death sentences by votes of 12-0 each

07/25/94            Sentenced as follows:

Count I              First-Degree Murder – Death

Count II             First-Degree Murder – Death

Count III            Attempted First-Degree Murder – Life imprisonment

Counts IV-VII      Kidnapping – Life imprisonment

Case Information:

Foster filed a Direct Appeal with the Florida Supreme Court on 08/19/94, citing eleven errors, which primarily focused on aggravating and mitigating circumstances and the inappropriateness of the death penalty as a potential punishment.  The FSC affirmed Foster’s convictions and sentences on 07/18/96. 

Foster filed a Petition for Writ of Certiorari with the U.S. Supreme Court on 12/03/96 that was denied on 03/17/97.

Foster filed a 3.850 Motion with the Circuit Court on 01/16/98 and amended the Motion on 06/01/00.  On 07/08/02, the Circuit Court denied the Motion.  On 07/22/02, Foster filed a Rehearing Motion that was denied on 06/20/03.

Foster filed a 3.850 Motion Appeal with the Florida Supreme Court on 07/24/03, raising the following issues: ineffective assistance of counsel, Ring and Atkins claims, and witness bias.  On 03/23/06, the FSC affirmed the denial of the motion.

Foster filed a Petition for Writ of Habeas Corpus with the U.S. District Court, Middle District, on 05/15/06 and amended the petition on 06/06/06.  The petition is pending.



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