Sister of a Henderson Man on Death Row Speaks Out Reported by: Drew Gardner January 26, 2011
The family of a Henderson man sitting on death row in Texas is speaking out to FOX 7. They are revealing some new details about the case. Cleve Foster was set to be executed on January 1, but the U.S. Supreme Court stopped the execution hours before it was set to take place. That appeal has since been tossed out and Foster is again facing death. His family is now desperately seeking a retrial for a crime they say he didn't commit.
47-year-old Cleve Foster is accused of raping and murdering a woman in Texas in 2002. He and his friend Sheldon Ward, who later died in prison, were convicted of the murder and given the death penalty. Foster's family says there is evidence that proves he did not commit the crime, but the jury never got to see it.
Cleve foster's mother Mary Ann and sister Donna drove down to Texas earlier this month ready to witness Foster's execution. They are glad it didn't happen, and they hope this could be his second chance.
Foster's sister Donna Foster says, "What we're hoping is that he'll get a new trial with all the information and evidence that wasn't present to begin with."
The main piece of evidence is a confession letter from Sheldon Ward, Foster's friend and co-defendant.
"It was entered into evidence but was never presented to the jury. Now what kind of attorney that's working for you did not want to bring that up. Why didn't he fight for that? Why didn't he say here is the confession letter?"
They also say there are a number of contradictions and incorrect information in the police report. The lead detective on the case has since retired.
"That's what the state has based its whole investigation on is the theory of this one man and now we can't even find him."
Foster admitted to having consensual sex with the woman, but says he had nothing to do with the murder. Which is what ward said in his confession letter.
The final piece of evidence, a report from a blood splatter expert that says the victim was killed at the scene which disputes the initial report that Ward couldn't have moved the body on his own to the dump site where it was found.
"Ward could have very well acted alone just as he always said."
His family says regardless of whether they a get a new trial, foster has made peace with the situation.
"He says I know where I'm going. I'm going to be at home with the Lord, but he says on my death bed right there where they put me I will tell all of them I forgive you for killing me. I forgive you. Cause you have to forgive in order to be forgiven"
The Texas Attorney General's office says there will be a hearing Friday for a judge to set a new execution date.
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