Foster pleads guilty to murder

Published 2:03 am Saturday, September 30, 2017

Shelton Lorenz Foster, 64, of Andalusia pled guilty Friday afternoon to murder. Foster was indicted in 2013 for the 2012 shooting death of Donnie Earl Bone of Butler County.

District Attorney Walt Merrell prosecuted the case; Manish Patel and Chris Sledge defended Foster.

Shelton Foster pleaded guilty yesterday.

According to court documents, Bone, a Butler County resident, came to Andalusia to visit friends when he had a flat tire on his trailer. At the time, Foster operated Cobra & Mystery, an automobile repair and parts shop on Airport Road outside of Andalusia. Bone contacted Foster to fix the tire.   Foster shot and killed Bone in a nearby pecan grove.

Court records show that Bone’s body was found off of Old Dragstrip Road the evening of Sept. 13, 2012. He had been shot in the back of the head. Bone’s truck was later found at Cobra & Mystery, and his cell phone was inside the truck. Foster told investigators different versions of the last time he saw Bone, the last story being an admission that he shot Bone and took his truck.

Foster plead guilty after hearing a synopsis of the state’s evidence against him. Later, Foster was given a chance to say a few words. He said, “I offer my condolences to the family, and I wish this had never happened.”

Bone’s widow, Sonja, was present in the courtroom during the hearing.

“I hope this brings her and the rest of the family some closure,” Merrell said. “This case has been extraordinarily complex, and it has taken us a long time to get to finality. I’m glad we got this result for her. Donnie didn’t deserve to die, and I know I can’t fix that, but I hope today gives the family just a little peace.”

There was no agreement as to the sentence to be imposed for Foster’s conviction.

Short set Foster’s sentencing hearing for Nov. 14, 2017.

Merrell said he will ask for the maximum penalty.

The district attorney expressed his appreciation to the investigators from his office, Andalusia Police Department, Opp Police Department, the sheriff’s sffice, and even the Coroner, Norman Hobson, who worked the case.