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Last updated on Thursday, June 28, 2012
(BLOOMINGTON) - Jurors were convinced Bruce Foster stole Angela Holder’s 2002 Chrysler Concorde.
Laura Lane of the Herald Times reports that the jury could not agree on whether he killed the 39-year-old mother of two last summer before taking off in her car.
After about 17 hours of deliberations over two days, jurors in Monroe Circuit Court came back into court at 5 p.m. Tuesday. The news: the 12 had found Foster guilty of vehicle theft, but were undecided on the murder charge against him.
Foster faces up to three years in jail for the theft conviction. He remains charged with murder, and was taken back to the Monroe County Jail after the verdicts were announced.
"We are definitely going to retry him," Monroe County Prosecutor Chris Gaal said Tuesday evening, refusing to speculate on what may have hung up the jury. "It was a long trial, a long deliberation and a lot of circumstantial evidence."
Jury deliberations happen behind closed doors; the split among jurors on guilt vs. innocence was not revealed. Verdicts must be unanimous.
Monroe Circuit Judge Kenneth Todd said he will meet with lawyers on both sides this week to determine when to schedule a new trial. Foster will remain behind bars without bond.
Late Tuesday afternoon, jurors asked to review a videotape of a detective interviewing 49-year-old Foster after his arrest on a murder warrant. They also re-listened to a recording of a phone call Foster made to police two days before turning himself in. He claimed to know nothing about his former girlfriend's death, not even that she had been stabbed 17 times. He said he wanted to help find her killer.
Evidence against Foster was circumstantial. A neighbor saw him arguing with Holder about 10 a.m. the day she died. He testified Foster forced his way into Holder's apartment and then left five minutes later in her car.
The victim's 15-year-old daughter came home about 5 p.m. that day and discovered her mother's body.
Cellphone records reflect frequent phone contact between Foster and Holder the morning she was killed, but calls and texts from Foster stopped just after police say she died.
"Because there's no use calling a dead woman, and he knew she was dead because he killed her," Gaal said in his closing statement to the jury.
Cell tower records also place Foster in the vicinity of Cascades Park just after the killing is believed to have occurred. Holder's pink purse, and a wooden-handled knife with her DNA on the blade, were found in the park. Her cellphone is still missing.
Defense attorneys suggested police did not take sufficient steps to investigate other possible suspects who might have had opportunity and motive to kill Holder. The prosecution contended that Foster, angry because Holder had been seeing another man, killed her in a rage. She had come home the morning of June 7, 2011, reportedly to find Foster prying open an upstairs window.
He said he was there to retrieve a book bag and laptop computer. And he said Holder let him borrow her car, a contention the jury did not believe.
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