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Prison guard's murder trial set in Wise

October 2nd, 2007 12:00 am by Stephen Igo



WISE — A plea deadline passed without a deal last week, and an Oct. 17 start is still on the Wise County Circuit Court docket for the murder trial of a former state prison guard accused of shooting to death a paroled inmate in her Coeburn home in May.


Wise County Commonwealth’s Attorney Ron Elkins on Tuesday confirmed no plea agreement was reached with Big Stone Gap attorney Greg Kallen on behalf of his client, Alice Foster, 43. She is charged with first-degree murder in the death of Roy Lee Gary, 39, in her home at 802 Front St. in Coeburn.


Foster was employed as a corrections officer at Red Onion Prison near Pound. Gary, a native of Maryland, served time for grand larceny at Red Onion and was paroled in 2005. Foster is accused of shooting Gary once in the chest with a .357-caliber handgun.


Authorities believe Foster and Gary became acquainted at Red Onion but have not divulged the alleged nature of the relationship during or after his stretch in prison. After his release on parole in late 2005, authorities say Gary remained in Wise County and became a frequent visitor at Foster’s home in Coeburn.


Foster called police the day of the fatal shooting and allegedly admitted she shot Gary but told authorities she was defending herself and family because Gary broke into her home. Authorities were skeptical of Foster’s version of events and believe Gary was shot and killed a period of time before police were notified.


Foster is originally from Texas. She met and married a Coeburn native in Texas, where both worked as corrections officers. The couple moved to Wise County about eight years ago. They have a minor child, and Foster has two grown children from a previous marriage. Authorities say the couple separated late last year.


One of Foster’s adult daughters was residing at 802 Front St. with her two minor children at the time of the shooting. Authorities have not said if Foster’s daughter or grandchildren were present at the time of Gary’s death.



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