An Augusta man admitted Friday that he beat a woman nearly to death in an attempted rape and robbery in August. According to the prosecutor who previously tried to send Yearby Foston to prison, she wasn’t the first woman he had left for dead.
Last August, Richard Roundtree, who is now the sheriff, talked Foston off the Fifth Street railroad bridge and ended a standoff with officers.
On Friday in Richmond County Superior Court, Judge Sheryl B. Jolly accepted the plea and sentenced Foston to 20 years in prison and five years on probation.
Foston, 33, pleaded guilty to armed robbery, aggravated assault, criminal attempt to commit rape and a weapons charge for the Aug. 2 attack.
Assistant District Attorney Hank Syms said Foston had entered a Peach Orchard Road business with a handgun and demanded cash. When the employee said there wasn’t any in the office, Foston hit her several times in the head with the gun.
Foston ordered the woman to lie on the floor, but she refused orders to remove her clothing, Syms said. Foston hit her in the head with the gun several more times. He stole a laptop and left the worker on the floor, nearly unconscious and covered in blood.
The woman’s sisters and her boss told the judge that instead of planning her 50th birthday celebration that night, they were praying that she didn’t die. Her skull was cracked open, and she will always have a visible depression on her head.
Her boss said that he had talked on the phone with Foston earlier that day and that Foston must have been watching, because as soon as the boss left, Foston walked in.
In April 2010, a Richmond County jury acquitted Foston of aggravated assault and weapons charges. He was arrested after his wife, Annette Foston, was shot in the stomach Aug. 7, 2009.
District Attorney Natalie Paine said Friday that after both attacks, Foston called a relative in law enforcement in an attempt to surrender.
Annette Foston testified in defense of her husband, who had a previous domestic violence conviction, Paine said. Yearby Foston filed for divorce in March, and the final decree was issued Dec. 18.