Jurors consider slaying of Baltimore County woman

Man accused of killing girlfriend in 2009

April 08, 2011|By Nick Madigan, The Baltimore Sun

"Lies, lies, lies!" the prosecutor exclaimed. "They'll catch up to you in the end."

With that proclamation, Baltimore County Assistant State's Attorney Rachel E. Karceski launched into her closing statement Friday in the murder trial of a 31-year-old used-car salesman accused of fatally shooting his girlfriend in November 2009 and dumping her body near a highway in Virginia.

"The defendant's story just doesn't add up," Karceski went on, reciting a litany of assertions and explanations by Frederick A. Christian both before his arrest and during his trial this week, when he took the witness stand. "He never sets the record straight."

Christian's lawyer, Donald Daneman, spent much of his own closing statement impugning the testimony of other witnesses and said his client had been "very nice" on the stand and "didn't argue with people."

"You have to decide whether he was lying," Daneman said. "You have to decide whether my client possessed a gun and fired it." He advised the jury — which began deliberating Friday afternoon and will resume on Monday — to be cautious with the testimony they had heard, and said the police were "looking for a home run."

What is uncontested is that a 23-year-old woman, Jerryell Myesha Foster, who worked in a clothing store, went missing around Thanksgiving two years ago from the apartment she shared with Christian and their young daughter on Hazy Morn Court in Cockeysville. Foster's body was found on March 2, 2010, in a wooded area of Stafford County, Va., and an autopsy showed that she had been shot twice.

Christian, the prosecutor said, failed to clarify why he had poured large amounts of bleach and talcum powder on rugs in the otherwise "filthy" apartment; why and where he had suddenly disposed of a red love seat that had been in the living-room for months; and why he had in his possession Foster's bank card and car keys after he claimed she had simply "left for work" and never returned.

In the prosecution's scenario, both the killing and the disposal of the body in Virginia took place during the night of Nov. 24, and followed a breakdown in the couple's relationship. Two days earlier, the prosecutor said, Christian had given the woman a black eye, and she then threatened to "put him out" of the apartment.

To Karceski and fellow prosecutor, David Lemanski, it was clear that the defendant's use of bleach and powder was intended to obliterate any signs of Foster's blood. Although tiny traces remained, expert testimony showed that it was insufficient to trigger a DNA match to the victim.

In his summation, Daneman said the victim "wasn't the best mother in the world," was "very opinionated" and preferred to "go clubbing" rather than attending to maternal and domestic chores. Foster, he went on, "probably dated two or three other gentlemen at the time."

nick.madigan@baltsun.com

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