A Union County man was found guilty of attempted murder, weapons offenses and drug possession after a jury delivered its verdict Wednesday following a three-week trial, according to Acting Monmouth County Prosecutor Christopher J. Gramiccioni.
Jermaine Foster, 35, of Plainfield, was convicted of first degree attempted murder, second degree possession of a weapon for an unlawful purpose, second degree unlawful possession of a weapon, and third degree possession of a controlled dangerous substance after a jury delivered the verdict following a three-week trial presided over by Monmouth County Superior Court Judge Francis J. Vernoia, J.S.C., sitting in Freehold, according to a press release issued by the Prosecutor's Office.
The charges stem from a shooting outside of the Red Oak Diner in Hazlet, where Foster shot his then-35-year-old ex-girlfriend, a waitress at the diner, around 4:47 a.m. on Feb. 6, 2011.
Hazlet Township police officers responded to the diner after a report of a domestic dispute at the Route 35 location, and arrived to find the victim unresponsive and lying in a flower bed.
Several diner employees were tending to the victim, and officers administered first aid to the victim until emergency medical services arrived. She was transported by Holmdel First Aid Squad and MONOC paramedics to Jersey Shore University Medical Center, where she underwent several surgeries for gunshot wounds to her face, arm, neck and upper torso, according to the Monmouth County Prosecutor's Office. The victim survived the attack.
Evidence developed at trial showed that Foster arrived at the diner in search of the woman in the early morning hours of Feb. 6, 2011, and he began to argue with the victim over her attempts to end their relationship and her refusal to leave the diner with him that night, the press release said. The argument continued outside of the diner, where Foster pulled out a handgun and shot the victim several times in the face, neck, arm, and upper torso.
After shooting the victim, Foster quickly fled from the diner prior to the arrival of police, however, several hours after the shooting police tracked Foster to an apartment in Linden, where detectives from the Hazlet Township Police Department and the Monmouth County Prosecutor’s Office Major Crimes Bureau, with the assistance of the Linden Police Department, took him into custody him without incident.
At the time of Foster’s arrest, police recovered inside the apartment the handgun he used to shoot the victim as well as cocaine. He was lodged in the Monmouth County Correctional Institution (MCCI), where he was held in lieu of $1,000,000 bail. Following the verdict, Judge Vernoia revoked Foster’s bail and he continues to be held at MCCI pending sentencing scheduled for on April 19, 2013.
Foster faces a maximum sentence of up to 20 years in a New Jersey state prison on the first degree Attempted Murder charge, subject to the provisions of the "No Early Release Act," requiring Foster must serve 85 percent of the sentence imposed before becoming eligible for parole, according to the Monmouth County Prosecutor's Office. Additionally, Foster faces up to 10 years in prison for each second degree weapons charges and up to 5 years for the third degree Possession of a Controlled Dangerous Substance.
The case was prosecuted by Assistant Monmouth County Prosecutor Matthew Bogner. Foster was represented by Michael Wicke, Esq. and Ryan Moriarty, Esq., both of Freehold.