Double murder details could lead to death penalty for Fresno man

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Friday, June 17, 2022
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Almost everyone at the central Fresno apartment stepped outside when they heard the first gunshot last April.

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- Witnesses to a domestic violence shooting that killed two women last year told a judge Thursday what they saw, bringing a double murder suspect a big step closer to a possible death penalty.

Almost everyone at the central Fresno apartment stepped outside when they heard the first gunshot last April.

"They said they were arguing and it was a plate had broken," said a man who lived in a nearby apartment.

A judge asked us to protect the identities of witnesses from the apartment, so we're not showing their faces or naming them.

A man said he saw Deandre Foster in the doorway of a neighboring apartment and 21-year-old Charlotte Ethridge was behind him, crying.

He knew what he heard was a gunshot, but he stepped back into his apartment.

When a second gunshot rang out, Michelle Johnson came out of her apartment and insisted on seeing Charlotte, who was her foster daughter.

"She said 'What the hell was that? Where's my daughter?'" said another nearby resident. "He said 'Mind your own business, b***h. Go back inside.'"

This neighbor says Michelle took a step forward and then, a third gunshot.

"Michelle's body hit the ground," she said. "Then I heard Charlotte scream 'What the f**k did you do? Why?' And then that was followed by what I assumed was the rest of the clip that was in the gun."

Police eventually arrested Foster for murdering both women.

He's said in court that the media is spreading falsehoods about him.

But the 25-year-old has a history of gun crimes and domestic violence.

Two months before the murders, a girlfriend filed for a restraining order, saying Foster choked her at a motel and threatened her and her family.

A couple weeks after that, Foster's sister reported he punched her and threatened a cousin.

Clovis police arrested him six days before the double murder, but he bailed out the same day.

The judge decided there is enough evidence for Foster to face trial on both murder charges, which means prosecutors will now have to decide whether to pursue the death penalty.

If you are the victim of domestic abuse, or you know someone who is, there is help available 24/7. In Fresno County, call the Marjaree Mason Center at (559) 233-4357. In all other locations, call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at (800) 799-7233.