Some of the facts of Tuesday’s trial of Lovett Leonard Foster in Glynn County Superior Court were undisputed. In the early morning hours of Nov. 10, 2018, he did follow a Chrysler 200 driven by another man and in which was the mother of his 4-year-old son. He did flash his lights at them and signal that he wanted the window rolled down so they could talk.
What was disputed is whether he took a 9 mm handgun and fired at the Chrysler as they traveled up Altama Avenue.
Twelve men and women took around 30 minutes deliberating before concluding that he did fire that shot, and returned a verdict of guilty on counts of aggravated assault, aggravated assault in violation of the state Family Violence Act, possession of a firearm during commission of a felony, first-degree criminal damage to property and fleeing or attempting to elude a police officer.
Shareena Easton, the mother of Foster’s son, said he was to come to Brunswick from where he lived in Savannah to see his son the day before, and the day became a bit of a mess initially because she had a tire blowout on the way to work and had to get her father to take her to her job, while she coordinated with Foster for him to get the tire fixed in the meantime.
She testified that she left work around midnight and a little while later a friend, Mikle Curry, came by and she got in his car, where they talked for some amount of time. During this period, her stepmother came out of the residence and talked to her, and that’s when she noticed Foster’s SUV, which she said was parked behind Curry’s vehicle.
After their conversation, Easton said she saw Foster drive down the street, turn around and park nose-to-nose with the Chrysler, at one point turning his brights on. When Foster then pulled alongside, she said Curry drove away, and that began a pursuit through the neighborhood, then up Martin Luther King Boulevard and Altama Avenue, in which Foster was flashing his lights at their vehicle.
Foster, in an interrogation video played for the jury, told police he followed the vehicle, admitted to flashing his lights and, as he drove alongside on Altama, motioning for them to roll the window down to talk. But, he said around the Waffle House they sped away. Easton said Curry sped toward the Glynn County Police headquarters after they heard the gunshot around the area of Altama Avenue and 4th Street.
Curry and Easton called 911 from the car and eventually made their way to GCPD, before returning to the scene of the gunfire to speak with Brunswick Police.
Foster began to make his way back to Savannah, but a Glynn County officer responding to an alert identified his vehicle as they were moving northbound on I-95. Dashcam and bodycam footage played for the jury showed the SUV appear to look like it was taking the exit at mile-marker 42, but then cut back over onto the interstate and kept going while the pursuing officer’s lights were activated.
At Exit 67, Foster took the offramp, cut under the overpass and got back on I-95, but started driving north in the southbound lane. That continued for some time as multiple police units from multiple jurisdictions gave chase in the northbound lane.
Eventually, road construction forced Foster into the median, where two guardrails hemmed him in, and police arrested him after he had to stop in order not to drive into a waterway.
Foster hung his head following the reading of the verdict, and he became emotional speaking to the court afterward, saying he wouldn’t do anything to hurt Easton or his son. Easton spoke again before sentencing, saying, “This was more shocking to me than anything,” that she didn’t want to make Foster out to be some animal, and that it would be a real issue for her son because he loves his father.
Judge Anthony Harrison sentenced Foster to 10 years in prison and 20 years’ probation. Prosecutors filed a notice of aggravation based on criminal convictions in 2001, 2005 and 2009, so Foster will not receive the option of parole.
Because of the prejudicial nature of the charge, Count 6 of the indictment — possession of a firearm by a convicted felon — was not part of the trial, and prosecutors chose to drop the charge following sentencing.