XENIA — A Dayton man was acquitted on two charges Thursday related to a May shooting at the Greene County Fairgrounds. After four days of trial in Greene County Common Pleas Court under the supervision of Judge Michael Buckwalter, a jury found Ronald Foster, 25, not guilty of attempted murder and felonious assault.
Following the verdict, Foster stood in relief, thanked the jury and promised them he didn’t lie to them. Foster’s defense attorney Griff Nowicki said he was pleased with the jury’s verdict following the trial. Prosecuting attorney David Hayes declined to comment.
Foster was indicted in June on the two charges, and was accused of shooting another man in the early morning hours of May 24 at a memorial party held at the Greene County Fairgrounds.
Foster testified in the trial Thursday, saying that another man shot the victim and handed him the gun, which the defense suggested accounted for gun shot residue found on Foster’s pants. Foster said he didn’t mention this to detectives when he was interviewed because he feared retaliation and incriminating himself.
“I’m not lying,” he said. “All I can do is tell my side of the story.”
In closing arguments for the state Hayes would later call Foster’s account a “convenient story” and asked the jury to remember that Foster admitted on the stand to lying to detectives during an interview.
The court also heard an interview with a witness, which was recorded in the days following the shooting, in which that witness described a man “with a fade haircut” as having the gun the night of the shooting (Foster had dreadlocks that night and currently has the same hairstyle). In court this witness said she didn’t see the shooter and also noted she was “completely drunk” at the party.
Earlier in the trial one witness identified the shooter as having dreadlocks, but said she did not see the shooter’s face. Another witness identified an individual with dreadlocks as running away from the area where the victim was shot.
Testimony from witnesses earlier in the trial indicated Foster and the shooting victim got into a brief verbal altercation at the party. After individuals at the event defused the situation, the vehicle Foster was in reportedly left the area and returned shortly after.
The victim testified that while walking back to his car, he saw the vehicle return. Shortly after, he saw a figure and then a muzzle flash. The victim was the only witness to identify Foster as the shooter.
Reach Nathan Pilling at 937-502-4498 or on Twitter @XDGNatePilling.