Marcus Glenn Foster, of Seaside, will serve a mandatory minimum of 60 years in prison for murdering his ex-wife and her male friend.
Foster, 51, was sentenced April 22 in Clatsop County Circuit Court to serve back-to-back life sentences for the deaths of Laura Foster, 53, and Guy Phillips, 52. Marion County Circuit Court Judge Thomas Hart ordered Foster to serve a minimum of 30 years for each of the two counts of aggravated murder.
Marcus Foster pled guilty to the charges in March, agreeing to the consecutive 30-year sentences. He had initially pled not guilty to the charges at his arraignment in May.
“It’s a sad state of affairs to have lost two lives,” Hart said at sentencing, indicating that the consecutive sentences are in accordance with Oregon law because the offenses occurred during the same criminal episode.
Laura Foster and Guy Phillips were found May 4 at her residence in Seaside. After attempts had been made to reach both of them, her daughter had to crawl through the window of the locked house. Sarah Jarrett found the bodies under a blanket with written notes left on top of them.
In her statement to the court, Jarrett said that she could vividly remember how the house looked and the blankets covering the bodies. Although they were divorced, Marcus and Laura Foster shared the residence.
At the time of the arrest, Clatsop County District Attorney Josh Marquis called the murder a “domestic homicide.”
Marcus Foster was arrested May 4 after being stopped by a Clatsop County Sheriff’s deputy in Knappa. At the Clatsop County Jail, the Clatsop County Major Crime Team interviewed him.
Chief Deputy District Attorney Ron Brown indicated that the two victims were both struck multiple times and died of blunt force trauma. He said there was little indication of defensive wounds against the aluminum baseball bat used, although Phillips had one broken finger on each hand.
“It’s our position that he was lying in wait,” Brown said about Marcus Foster. “Otherwise they would have had some time to defend themselves.”
Marcus Foster should be locked up for the rest of his life, Brown said, because of the violent actions he committed.
“This was an extremely brutal homicide for little or no good reason all because supposedly Laura Foster was asking the defendant to move out – something she had every right to do,” he said.
In brief biographies read to the court, Brown said that Laura Foster was born in Portland and was known to have a passion for arts and crafts, and loved her children more than anything in life. Phillips lived most of his life in Alaska and had recently moved to Seaside. The two knew each other from high school and Phillips was the best friend of Laura’s brother. He was known to enjoy hunting, fishing and was an avid fan of “Star Trek.”
Phillip’s daughter, Rebecca, gave a statement to the court over the phone, saying that her father was a loving person who always helped those in need.
“My dad had such a huge heart and is greatly missed,” she said. “Every day gets harder, and more and more happens, and I wish he was here to talk to.”
Aden Taylor, Phillips’ oldest daughter of five children, said Phillips was excited to move to Seaside and to live closer to his grandchildren. She last saw her father at her wedding.
“I’m grateful it was such a joyous occasion, because it was the last time I saw my father and the last occasion I will ever get to share with him,” Taylor said.
She said she wished she could pick up the phone and talk to her father, who was always there for her and everyone.
“Marc Foster cheated us all out of many years and many joyous occasions that should have been spent with my father,” Taylor said. “He was deeply loved and will be deeply missed. This one man caused so much pain for so many people to satisfy his own selfish desires.”
Michael Blaser described his uncle (Phillips) as his best friend.
“You have run a wrecking ball through the lives of my family, but I can’t even begin to know the pain you’ve caused your own family,” said Blaser.
Jarrett, who said Marcus Foster was like a father to her, told the court that she had memories of him taking her to softball games and to school, even taking her to his family reunions. But she said his actions were like being stabbed in the back.
“My mother was my world, and her dying the way she did will haunt me for the rest of my life,” she said.
“It will take me forever to completely heal from the wound in my heart,” Jarrett said. “Marcus Foster will never have to stand the pain I have inside.”
Foster had a prior assault conviction in 2000. He attacked a man who was dating his ex-girlfriend, Brown said. Judge Hart ruled that Foster pay restitution for the two victims’ funerals. A recommendation was also entered that he serve his time at the Oregon State Penitentiary in Salem.
This story originally appeared in Seaside Signal.
OPB | Feb. 22, 2017