Man accused of murder, sexual assault, pleads not guilty

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A Bowie County man accused of committing murder in January and of molesting a child in December pleaded not guilty to all charges at a hearing Tuesday in Bowie County.

Randall Lloyd Foster, 36, appeared for arraignment Tuesday afternoon before 102nd District Judge Bobby Lockhart with Chief Public Defender Rick Shumaker. Shumaker entered pleas of not guilty on Foster’s behalf to a charge of murder connected to a Jan. 30 shooting and to two counts of sexual assault and two counts of indecency with a child by contact alleged to have occurred at Foster’s home in December.

Lockhart explained to Foster that indictments handed down by a Bowie County grand jury in February include notice from the state to seek an enhanced punishment on each charge because of a prior felony conviction for robbery. Instead of facing five to 99 years or life in prison if convicted of murder, Foster could face 15 to 99 or life. Each of the four sex crimes is a second-degree felony punishable by two to 20 years but the state is seeking to increase the punishment ranges to five to 99 or life. Assistant District Attorney Kelley Crisp said that the court has the option of ordering any sentences imposed on the sexual offenses consecutively.

Shumaker said his office has just received copies of evidence the state intends to use at trial. Crisp said the only information the state has not shared with the defense is a full report detailing the findings of Smallwood’s autopsy.

“I will turn that over to them as soon as I get it,” Crisp said.

Smallwood, 40, was shot multiple times as he stood in the doorway of his home Jan. 30. Bowie County Sheriff’s Office deputies were called to a trailer in the 400 block of Terrace Plaza at about 7 p.m. Jan. 30, according to a probable cause affidavit.

Smallwood’s wife allegedly told investigators she was in the living room when Smallwood answered a knock on the door. The woman reported hearing Smallwood tell Foster to stop pointing a gun at him shortly before the first of numerous shots were fired. Smallwood’s wife said she retreated to the kitchen after Foster pointed the gun at her. She allegedly told investigators she was pleading with Foster to let her hold Smallwood before Foster fired one last shot into the side of Smallwood’s head and departed.

Foster was arrested the same day at a relative’s home in the 600 block of Pecan Street in Maud, Texas. Foster allegedly surrendered a Ruger 9 mm pistol and himself to authorities after speaking to his father.

In an interview with investigators, Foster allegedly admitted to shooting Smallwood and claimed he harbored resentment toward him for introducing him to methamphetamine. Foster allegedly suspected Smallwood had improper contact with Foster’s wife while Foster was in jail, according to the affidavit.

Foster is accused of assaulting a teen girl who was sleeping on the living room sofa in his home Dec. 2. The girl reported that she was awakened when Foster began touching her inappropriately.

Foster is in Bowie County custody. Bail is set at $1 million. Lockhart scheduled Foster to return to court for a pretrial hearing in April.

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