Joshua Blake is gone, having killed himself as he was about to be arrested for fatally shooting a Washington State trooper.
But his menacing continues to damage others, at least in the eyes of the father of one of Blake’s victims.
Jessi Leigh Foster, 32, of Port Orchard is charged with rendering criminal assistance to Blake by allegedly trying to help him get away after he shot and killed Trooper Tony Radulescu.
However, her father, Wayne Foster, said it’s her daughter who could never really get away from Blake.
“My daughter has a very, very good heart,” he said Friday afternoon after his daughter’s court hearing. “Her ex-boyfriend has misused her for many, many years.”
Foster, walking with a cane, looked tired and dispirited as he made his way from the second-floor courtroom to the stairs, with a crush of television reporters asking questions about his daughter and Blake.
Jessi Foster went to help Blake when he called her early Thursday, “not knowing what really happened until later,” Wayne Foster said.
And when she met up with Blake, the father of her 3-year-old daughter and with whom she’d had an abusive relationship in the past, she was scared.
“She told me she was really frightened; she was paralyzed with fear,” her father said.
According to Kitsap County District Court charging documents, Jessi Foster was trying to find a way for Blake to get out of the South Kitsap area shortly before a SWAT team arrived at the Scofield Road location where they were. The documents state that after Blake shot himself inside a trailer, Foster told officers that about 15 to 30 minutes before the SWAT team got there, Blake told her he had shot a police officer.
Blake then left the trailer and walked into the woods, despite Foster’s attempts to restrain him because she feared he was going to kill himself. After he left, the documents state, Foster made two calls and sent a text message trying to get a ride, but she did not call 9-1-1.
“She was actively trying to find a way out of the area for him,” Kitsap County Sheriff’s Sgt. Ken Dickinson said Friday morning at a news conference to provide an update on the investigation of Radulescu’s killing. “He made a statement to her, after she pressed him about why he was in so much trouble, that he shot a cop.”
Sheriff Steve Boyer also spoke at the news conference, and he noted that Jessi Foster had been in an abusive relationship with Blake.
“She was a victim many, many times at his hands,” Boyer said. “He’s a violent individual.”
Besides domestic violence involving Jessi Foster, Blake’s criminal history includes a 2004 assault on a woman who was 18 at the time and had a baby that was Blake’s child.
He also had a history of fighting with police. His 2008 conviction on an eluding charge stemmed from an incident when a Port Orchard officer tried to arrest him after a pursuit that involved Blake hitting a police car. Blake broke free from the officer, ran back to his car and took off again, only to be stopped a short time later by a sheriff’s deputy. Blake also fought with that officer before fleeing on foot, and finally was arrested after he was chased up a tree by a K9 unit.
The attorney representing Jessi Foster, who appeared at Friday’s hearing by video link from the Kitsap County jail, requested a reduction in her $500,000 bail. He also requested the court be moved to Superior Court so Foster can get a speedy trial.
Judge James Riehl maintained the bail amount, however, citing the seriousness of the felony charge against Foster and noting that she had failed to appear for court hearings multiple times in the past when she was charged with DUI and malicious mischief, resulting in bench warrants being issued.
Foster, who had numerous relatives and friends in the courtroom, had an earlier court hearing Friday on an unrelated third-degree theft charge from an incident in December.
The charging documents in the felony case state that Foster got a ride from a friend who dropped her off near the property where Blake was on Scofield Road early Thursday. As she walked toward the property, which is about 200 yards south of Scofield down an unpaved private road, Blake came walking to meet her. They then walked back to where Foster had been dropped off and intended to leave the area with her friend, but he had already driven off.