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Aaron Christopher FOUST





Classification: Murderer
Characteristics: Robbery
Number of victims: 1
Date of murder: May 18, 1997
Date of arrest: 5 days after
Date of birth: July 28, 1972
Victim profile: David Ward (male, 43)
Method of murder: Strangulation
Location: Tarrant County, Texas, USA
Status: Executed by lethal injection in Texas on April 28, 1999
TDCJ Number
Date of Birth
Foust, Aaron Christopher 999268 07/28/72
Date Received
Age (when Received)
Education Level
05/19/98 25 12
Date of Offense
Age (at the Offense)
05/18/97 24 Tarrant
Hair Color
White Male  
Eye Color
6-0 180  
Native County
Native State
Prior Occupation
Lafayette Tennessee Laborer
Prior Prison Record
Summary of incident

On May 18, 1997, Foust and one co-defendant robbed and murdered a  43-year-old white male in Fort Worth. The victim's hands and feet were bound with speaker wire and then the victim was strangled to death. 

The victim’s credit cards were stolen and later used by Foust. The victim’s BMW was also stolen. It was found on fire in Arlington two days after the murder. Before leaving the apartment, Foust and the co-defendant sprayed words and letters on the walls to make the murder appear gang-related.

Jamal Brown
Race and Gender of Victim
White male


Date of Execution:
April 28, 1999
Aaron Christopher Foust #999268
Last Statement:
Adios, amigos, I’ll see ya’ll on the other side. I’m ready when ya’ll are.

Texas Attorney General

Media Advisory

April 27, 1999

AUSTIN - Texas Attorney General John Cornyn offers the following information on Aaron Christopher Foust who is scheduled to be executed after 6 p.m., Wednesday, April 28, 1999.


Aaron Christopher Foust was convicted for the capital offense of the intentional murder of David Ward in the course of committing robbery. The murder occurred in Fort Worth, Texas.

On May 18, 1997, Foust and his accomplice Jamal Brown were given a ride to the victim's home in Fort Worth. The victim, David Ward, was a hospital administrator and acquaintance of Foust's. Foust had just been released from the Tarrant County Jail, and needed money to pay his attorneys. Ward allowed Foust and Brown into his home and, according to Foust, Ward gave him steroids because Foust worked out with weights. When Ward allegedly would not or could not give Foust money, Foust bound him with speaker wire then left to use Ward's ATM card. Foust returned after an unsuccessful attempt to withdraw money.

Thereafter, as Brown was loading Ward's VCRs and stereo equipment into Ward's BMW automobile, Foust strangled Ward with his hands and arms, held a pillow over Ward's face, and stepped on Ward's neck, trying to break his neck. Brown stated that Ward had begged Foust not to kill him. Foust and Brown then continued to loot Ward's house, leaving what was supposed to look like gang graffiti on the walls. The two then stole Ward's BMW. Foust later used one of Ward's credit cards. Ward's BMW was later found in an adjoining town, Arlington, after it had been set on fire.

There was evidence that the crime was planned in advance, as Foust had discussed it with a fellow inmate. According to the witness, Foust stated he would steal a BMW and other items from a man, make him sign a check by torturing him, kill him execution-style, and write gang signs on the walls to make it look like others did the crime.

Foust gave a written confession on May 23, 1997, claiming that he had not meant to kill Ward, but just to make him pass out. Brown also gave a statement, essentially corroborating Foust's admission that he had strangled Ward alone.


On July 24, 1997, Foust was indicted for the capital offense of the intentional murder of David Ward in the course of committing robbery. On April 6, 1998, Foust entered a plea of not guilty to a jury. The jury found Foust guilty of capital murder on April 14, 1998.

On April 17, 1998, following a separate punishment hearing, the jury answered affirmatively the first two special issues and negatively the third special issue submitted pursuant to article 37.071(b) of the Texas Code of Criminal Procedure. In accordance with Texas law, the trial court, the 297th District Court of Tarrant County, Texas, sentenced Foust to death.

On June 10, 1998, the trial court received a letter from Foust indicating that he had carefully considered the matter and no longer wished to pursue any appeal. On July 16, 1998, the trial court held a hearing on the matter and subsequently found that Foust's decision to waive further appeal was voluntarily and intelligently made. On its own, the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals reviewed the record of Foust's trial, found no fundamental error, and affirmed the conviction and sentence of death on October 14, 1998.


At the punishment phase of trial, the state presented evidence that Foust had a juvenile record relating to a 1988 attempted burglary of a motor vehicle. More recently, in February 1997, Foust was stopped by police for driving without his headlights on, and was subsequently arrested. Foust had a butterfly knife in his waistband, shotgun shells on the dashboard, a baseball bat in the back, a pair of gloves, and two clips to a pistol in the front.

In April 1997, Foust was arrested for an assault in which he punched an acquaintance's girlfriend in the face, leaving her with a split lip, a swollen, cut, and bruised face, and a large bump on the back of her head. When a female neighbor tried to intervene, Foust hit her also, then became involved in a fight with the neighbor's boyfriend.

Foust was screaming when taken into custody. Foust continued to be aggressive and threatening towards officers while in a holding area. At one point, Foust pointed at an officer and said, "When I get out, I'm going to kill you." Foust incurred three disciplinary violations while in the Tarrant County Jail. In one of those incidents, Foust threw a razor at an officer.


There was no evidence of intoxication due to alcohol or drug use in connection with this offense.


Aaron Christopher Foust, 26, 99-04-28, Texas

Self-described cold-blooded and remorseless killer Aaron Christopher Foust was executed Wednesday night for robbing and strangling a Fort Worth hospital executive almost 2 years ago.

Foust, 26, was pronounced dead at 6:22 p.m., 6 minutes after the lethal drugs were released into his arms. He had demanded that no appeals be filed on his behalf, clearing the way for the 10th execution this year in Texas.

"Adios, amigos," Foust said in a brief final statement. "I'll see ya'll on the other side. That's it. I'm ready, ready when ya'll are."

As the drugs took effect, Foust took 1 deep breath and 2 short breaths. Then he stopped moving.

Foust, a former welder and carpenter who dealt drugs on the side, was a week away from entering the Army when the May 18, 1997 murder occurred at the Fort Worth apartment of David Ward, 43.

In a death row interview last week, Foust said he felt no remorse.

"Sometimes I wish I did kind of feel something," he said. "The bottom line is, if I was the type to feel remorseful, I wouldn't have done this in the first place. It takes a good deal of determination to put a man in a chokehold and choke the life out of him."

Ward was a British citizen who came to Fort Worth in 1975 to work as a nurse at John Peter Smith Hospital. He moved up the hospital hierarchy, eventually becoming a vice president in 1995. He was active in the battle against AIDS and was instrumental in establishing a public-private organization, "Healing Wings," that has raised millions of dollars for AIDS patients in Tarrant County.

He was about to leave on a month-long vacation to England when Foust and an accomplice arrived at his home to collect what Foust said was a $500 debt. When Ward balked, he was killed.

"I didn't like the guy," Foust said last week. "Mostly it was his attitude. He had a real arrogant, snobbish kind of attitude. Here's a guy whose got a damn good job, education. He's got this attitude he's better than me. It seems like to me he's worse than me. He thought he was untouchable.

"The situation with Mr. Ward, it was just business. He entered into a contract with me. Obviously, I couldn't take him to court."

Ward's brother, Michael, came to Texas from England to watch Foust die.

Asked last week what he might say to the victim's brother, Foust replied: "Adios."
"What's to say?" he added. "I don't know them. If I felt sorry for what I did, I would say so. But I don't."

Foust and Jamal Brown, 23, who still is awaiting trial, fled with Ward's cash, credit cards and his BMW. They were caught five days later trying to use Ward's credit card at an Arlington restaurant.

Tarrant County Assistant District Attorney Alan Levy, who prosecuted Foust, said he wasn't surprised with Foust's attitude.

"He doesn't show any remorse because he's never had any," Levy said.

Foust, whose muscular build and long hair earned him the nickname "Conan" among his friends, said he arrived on death row 11 months ago figuring it would take years for his appeals to be exhausted and his punishment to be carried out.

"Soon as I got here, I found out I could drop my appeals," he said. "So I wrote a letter to my attorney and the judge."

Foust's time on death row - just shy of one year - would be the second-shortest among the 173 condemned killers who preceded him to the Texas death chamber. Joe Gonzales, another execution volunteer, received lethal injection in 1996 only 252 days after arriving on death row. The average prison time before execution is about 10 years.

"I don't want to spend the rest of my life without a woman," Foust said. "I don't want to spend the rest of my life being told what to do, not having any freedom. I'm guilty. I did it."

Foust becomes the 10th condemned inmate to be put to death in Texas this year, and the 174th overall since the state resumed executions on Dec. 7, 1982.

(sources: Associated Press & Rick Halperin)



Aaron Foust, 26, became the second-fastest death row inmate to be executed for the murder of a 43-year-old hospital administrator named David Ward.

Foust and a friend, Jamal Brown, robbed Ward of his personal belongings, liquor bottles, credit cards and a 1993 BMW.  Foust then strangled and tied Ward to the bed in his East Fort Worth home.  Investigators who were able to connect the suspects to a stolen credit card used at an Arlington restaurant made their arrests.

Foust's defense attorney, Wes Ball, said Foust went to Ward's house with the intent to kill him because three days prior to the murder, Foust was arrested on assault charges and Ward refused to bail him out.  Foust had stated Ward was a homosexual who owed him money for drugs that Ward would buy to invite young black males to his house throwing all-night parties.

It would take five to six weeks to pick the jury.  At the trial Aaron wanted to testify but his lawyers disagreed for fear he would do more harm than good.  Foust disgusted the jury by grinning during the trial, showing no remorse.

"He liked to get a rise out of people,” said defense attorney Warren St. John.  “At the trial they were counting how many bottles of liquor Aaron had stolen.  He then leaned over to me and said 'killing makes you thirsty' and smiled.  He would say things like that.”

A Tarrant County jury took 2 1/2 hours to convict Foust in the capital murder of Ward determining that Foust would be a future danger to others.  The attorneys wanted Foust's sentence to be life in prison, rather than the death sentence.  This would have meant Foust would spend 40 calendar years in jail, which he refused to do. 

"Aaron didn't want any appeals made to him even with the assurance that the District Attorney could get it down to 4 years in jail,” said Ball.  “Aaron knew we had to do our job, but if he had to spend that much time in jail, he would kill an inmate.”

Foust said he didn't want a retrial, that he had lived his life already and had done the things he wanted.

Foust would spend 1 1/2 years in prison and become the second fastest death row inmate to be executed in state history.  The average inmate spends 8 1/2 years on death row before execution.

"Aaron didn't care about becoming the second fastest execution.  He wasn't looking for notoriety," Ball said, "He just didn't want to be locked up for the rest of his life."

On April 28, 1999 Foust was pronounced dead at 6:22p.m., six minutes after the drug was injected into his arm. 

"I told him I would see him on the other side,” said St. John.  “Just before he was injected he repeated those same words back.”


Man sees his brother's killer executed

Thursday 6th May 1999

Last week, Michael Ward flew to Texas to see the man who murdered his brother executed. Today he speaks exclusively to Argus reporter DAVID EDWARDS about the killer who robbed his family of a man who had so much to live for and about the moment he saw the killer die:

The sedative slipped into the prisoner's veins almost unnoticed.

Just before the lethal injection, the murderer turned to Michael Ward, who stood watching just a few yards away, and breathed: "Adios amigo. I'll see y'all on the other side."

With that, the life of Aaron Christopher Foust, which had started 26 years earlier, came to an end.

That searingly hot day a few miles out of Houston, Texas, also marked the end of a nightmare into which Michael and his family had been plunged nearly two years before.

It began early in 1997 when Michael, who lives in Saltdean, Brighton, received a worried phone call from his mother, waiting at Manchester Airport.

His brother, David, a hospital vice-president, was due to fly to England to see his family. But his plane had touched down and there was no sign of him.

Michael, 40, said: "We found out later he had left work full of the joys of spring because he was planning on coming home for a two-week holiday.

"When I phoned the hospital and explained who I was, they agreed to send around security to his house. They saw his BMW car was gone but the home appeared to be secure."

Michael, however, knew all was not well. He said: "When you're raised in a close family environment you can tell when something is wrong. It's like a sixth sense."

David Ward had grown up as the eldest son of a closely-knit family in Lancashire. In the mid-Seventies he emigrated to Fort Worth, Texas.

Afiercely hard worker, his career took off and by 1995 he was a hospital vice president who had raised millions of dollars for Aids sufferers.

Worried about his brother, Michael eventually convinced John Peter Smith Hospital, Forth Worth, to contact police who broke into the house later that night.

What they discovered not only destroyed a family but shocked America.

David Ward's body was lying bound and gagged in his bedroom. Around him, his home had been ransacked and daubed with gangland graffiti. A post-mortem later revealed he had been tortured for several hours.

Michael said: "When I picked up the phone and they asked if it was me, they didn't need to say anything else. I could sense something was wrong.

"Perhaps the hardest thing I have ever had to do in my life was explain to my parents what had happened. I drove up to Blackburn to meet them that afternoon."

Less than 12 hours from the time of his mother's airport phone call, Michael was on a plane heading for Texas.

He said: "On the flight, I didn't feel anything, I was numb. I was still trying to reconcile in my own mind the events that had taken place.

"It's totally foreign to anything you've ever experienced before. It wasn't a natural death for which you could have prepared."

After touching down, Michael had to clean up the wreckage in his brother's house, arrange his funeral and wind up his affairs.

In the midst of all this, a huge manhunt had started for the killers. David Ward had been a well-known and highly respected figure and his murder was headline news across the country.

Three days after the death, a restaurant manager told police about two men who had ordered beers and a meal.

When he asked one for ID, he noticed it didn't match the name on the credit card - David John Ward.

Aaron Foust and his accomplice were caught hours later, a few miles from a burned-out BMW.

Foust had embarked on a life of crime at an early age and had spent much of his life in prison, where he had earned the nickname Conan for his muscular build.

Not only was he a crack cocaine addict, he was also a nihilistic psychopath who dreamed of killing a police officer.

He had been out of prison for just two days - serving a sentence for GBH for beating up a woman - when he killed David Ward.

Michael said: "The authorities released David's body within days and I brought him back to Blackburn, it was my mother's wish that I flew back with him."

Michael, who works for the Midland Bank group in Worthing, tried to pick up the pieces of his life with the help of his wife, Susan, 37, and their three children, Jennifer, 12, Rebekka, 11, and Alex, eight.

But the horrific way in which David's life had ended meant many trips to America to assist the district attorney, attend memorial services arranged by friends, and wind up his brother's estate.

In April last year, Foust's three-week trial for first degree murder began in Tarrant County, Forth Worth, and Michael made sure he was there to see the whole thing through.

It was when he was called as a witness that he first came face to face with the man who had murdered his brother.

He said: "Foust was sitting a few metres away from me and the only way I was able to get through it was by adopting a business-like manner and keeping the emotion out of it.

"Then, just as all the way through the trial, Foust seemed to be finding something amusing - he was smirking, rocking back in his chair and blowing kisses at the jury.

"But he made eye contact with me and knew I was there, and who I was."

During the trial, the jury heard how David Ward had devoted his life to helping others. After his murder, his mother received hundreds of letters from the patients whose lives he had touched.

The jury took five hours to convict Foust - and his reaction was to laugh.

Four days later, he was given the death sentence and he waived his rights to appeal.

While on Death Row, he told other inmates why he had murdered the 43-year-old bachelor whose future was so bright.

He said: "It was his attitude. He had a real arrogant, snobby English kind of attitude.

"Here's a guy who's got a good job and education. It takes a good deal of determination to put a man in a chokehold and choke the life out of him."

Foust had tasted the harsh reality of prison life before and was in no mood to sit in his cell for years as the appeals dragged on.

He said: "Now I am ready to die. I don't want to spend the rest of my life without a woman. I'm guilty."

Last week Michael Ward stepped from an aeroplane at Houston Airport in an attempt to exorcise the demon which Foust had become to his family.

At 6.05pm local time on Wednesday, he walked across the courtyard of The Walls Prison, avoiding the anti-death penalty campaigners and TV cameras.

Afew minutes later he was in a tiny room where Foust, dressed in white prison regulation uniform, was strapped to a bed, a tube sticking from either arm.

Although bars and a glass screen separated them, Foust, already heavily sedated, turned to look at his victim's brother.

Michael said: "He leaned his head to one side and did his usual smirk - he knew I was there. He was asked if he had any final statement. He said 'Adios Amigo, see y'all on the other side'."

At 6.16pm a massive dose of drugs was pumped into Foust's arms. Six minutes later he was pronounced dead.

Michael said: "Right up until the end my fear was he would say he wanted to appeal.

"It was all very clean, all very humane and I was actually disappointed by how quick it all was.

"I know a lot of people reading this article will be horrified at what I'm saying.

"But he had a choice in all this. What choice did my brother have?



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