I can’t say that I blame him, but this is disappointing:
Former Ohio State football player Derrick Foster is expected to plead guilty to felony charges in connection with shooting two Columbus police officers, 10TV reported Wednesday.
Foster is scheduled to plead guilty to the felony charges on Friday, 10TV’s Maureen Kocot reported.
The former defensive end, who played at Ohio State from 1998 to 1992, is expected to serve time in prison as part of the plea.
The shootings occurred last April during a raid at a suspected East Rich Street crack house.
Officer Tony Garrison was shot in the arm and undercover narcotics Officer John Gillis was wounded in the leg, 10TV News reported.
Foster admitted going to the house to gamble and told investigators he never heard officers identify themselves before initiating the raid.
The house appears to have been a dice/gambling house, not a “crack house.” Last I read, no one in the house had been charged with a drug crime, including Foster. If anyone has, I haven’t seen it reported in the local media. The raid was the third raid of the night for that particular Columbus SWAT team.
Foster had no prior criminal record, and in fact had an exemplary employment record as a code inspector for the city of Columbus. He also had a legal permit for the gun he used, and has said he thought the place was being robbed. When several of Foster’s friends and acquaintances wrote letters to the judge vouching for his character, arguing that he wasn’t the kind of person who would knowingly shoot at a police officer, the police union initiated an intimidation campaign against them.
I’m actually surprised the prosecutors offered him a plea. It may be an indication that they weren’t confident trying him on the attempted murder charges. Shooting at cops generally isn’t the type of charge for which a DA will cut you a break.
Still, if Foster was offered a decent deal, you can’t blame him for taking it. An attempted murder conviction against two cops would put him away for a long time.
MORE: The Columbus Dispatch reports that one person in the house was charged with possession of cocaine.