Appeals court upholds murder conviction

Published 9:15 am Saturday, October 15, 2022

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Attorney General Steve Marshall announced that the Alabama Court of Criminal Appeals affirmed the conviction of Zhanna Shaye Bolling, 34, for murder.

On Nov. 3, 2021, Bolling was convicted in Covington County Circuit Court for the murder of Ed Foster. The appeals court affirmed the conviction on Oct. 7, 2022.

The evidence at trial showed that on April 5, 2019, a River Falls Police Department officer responded to a 911 call and found the victim, Ed Foster, still alive, lying in the middle of the street and suffering from an apparent gunshot wound to the head. Foster told the officer that Bolling shot him. Covington County Sheriff Blake Turman also arrived at the scene and spoke with Foster after he was transported to the hospital. It was later determined that Foster had been shot inside his house during an altercation with Bolling. The victim died approximately three weeks after he was shot.

Covington County District Attorney Walt Merrell’s office successfully prosecuted this case and obtained a guilty verdict. Bolling was sentenced to 30 years imprisonment for her murder conviction. Bolling sought to have her conviction overturned on appeal.

The Attorney General’s Criminal Appeals Division handled the case during the appeals process, arguing for the Alabama Court of Criminal Appeals to affirm Bolling’s conviction.

“Ms. Bolling intentionally fired the shot that eventually took the life of Ed Foster and for her crime she was sentenced to 30 years in prison,” Marshall said. “Despite Bolling’s efforts to appeal her guilty verdict, she cannot escape justice.”

Marshall commended Assistant Attorney General Laura Irby Cuthbert for her successful work on this case and thanked Covington County District Attorney Walt Merrell and his staff for their assistance in defending the murder conviction.