On August 15, 1996, Kenneth Foster Jr. and three friends were arrested shortly after the shooting of Michael Lahood Jr., the son of a prominent attorney in Bexar county. Mauriceo Brown, the admitted triggerman, exited the car that Kenneth drove, and entered into an exchange with the victim that resulted in a shot that claimed Lahood Jr.’s life. Because of two robberies that the group conducted hours earlier (Kenneth being the driver for both), it was easy for jurors to infer that the situation in Lahood’s driveway was a botched robbery, though there is evidence to suggest otherwise. Regardless, for being the evening’s driver, Kenneth would pay dearly. Under the Texas legal principle called the Law of Parties, even though Kenneth was factually innocent of the killing (he never left the car or touched the gun) he was regarded just as guilty as the shooter. According to the Law of Parties, if one conspires to commit one felony (eg. robbery) and another felony (murder) is committed, the conspirator is just as guilty because he should have “anticipated” it.
It didn’t matter that Brown admitted to shooting LaHood on an independent impulse. According to members of the jury, Kenneth should have known that a murder could have taken place. In a zealous prosecution, Kenneth was tried jointly with Brown for capital murder, convicted, and sentenced to death. At age 20, Foster began his ten year journey at the Polunsky Unit in Livingston, Death Row. His daughter Nydesha was fifteen months old.
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