Evans man charged in S.C. stabbing

An Evans man was arrested Tuesday after he and a 16-year-old Greer, S.C., girl stabbed her stepfather, held him and her mother hostage, and then tried to run away together, authorities said.

Justin Winthrop Foss, 20, of Marshall Way, entered the Riverwood Farms subdivision home of Kathleen Elizabeth Fentress, 16, about 5 a.m., according to a Greer Police Department incident report.

Fentress’ mother, Steph­anie Cowart, told police that her daughter had been communicating with Foss, a 2010 Lakeside High School graduate, on Facebook. She believes her daughter helped him get into the gated community and let Foss into their house.

Foss cut and stabbed Cowart’s husband, Ulie Cowart, according to the incident report.

“It was a slit across the neck and a stab in the shoulder,” Greer police Lt. Jim Holcombe said.

Holcombe said that because the case is still under investigation, he couldn’t release more details of the assault.

Foss and Fentress then tied her mother’s hands and put tape over her mouth, the incident report said. Foss took all of the phones and didn’t allow the couple to call for help or leave.

They threatened the couple with a gun and demanded money and jewelry, according to arrest warrants issued for them. A firearm was later found inside the home, Holcombe said.

About 8:45 a.m., Foss and Fentress left together in a Ford Explorer.

Fentress’ mother, a former controller for Fairway Outdoor Advertising in Augusta, ran to a neighbor’s house to call for help. Police found the neighbors with Fentress’ stepfather, who was lying in blood on his bed.

The stepfather, the former owner of Cowart Cabinets Inc. in North Augusta, was taken to Greer Memorial Hospital, where he remained hospitalized after surgery, Holcombe said.

The Greer police immediately released information about the suspects, who were stopped on U.S. Highway 221 near Roebuck, S.C., about 40 minutes later. They might have been headed to the Augusta area, Holcombe said.

Foss and Fentress were charged with attempted murder, conspiracy, two counts of kidnapping and two counts of armed robbery. Foss also was charged with possession of a weapon during the commission of a crime.

At a bond hearing Tues­day, a judge denied bond for Foss and granted a $300,000 bond to Fentress.

Foss is being held at the Greenville County Detention Center, and Fentress was sent to the Greenville County Juvenile Detention Center.

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