June 28, 2013

Murder charges filed in case that involves Dalton woman

By Samantha Cossick Public Opinion (Chambersburg, Pa.)

— Officials filed additional murder charges just this week for the 1995 fatal shooting of Freddie Walter Brumfield Jr.

Johnny Aaron Foster, 58, has been charged with first-degree murder, according to the police affidavit filed on Monday. Foster has been held in Dauphin County Prison, Harrisburg, since Oct. 1 on charges of indecent assault.

Brumfield, 18, was found shot to death along Funk Road in Greene Township on Jan. 13, 1995, after an incident in a mobile home at 1986 Philadelphia Ave., Lot 26, police said. He had moved from New Orleans to the Chambersburg area about three years earlier, and was believed to be involved with drug trafficking in the area, according to previous reports.

Law enforcement were led to file charges against Foster after the Dec. 20 apprehension of Jessica Perez, also known locally as Tonya Nickole “Snowy” Dice. She is facing charges of criminal homicide as well as hindering apprehension or prosecution for her role in the killing, according to Franklin County District Attorney Matthew Fogal.

Dice is a co-defendant in the case. However, the two cases will not be joined, Fogal said. With both Dice and Foster charged, there are no other leads or suspects that law enforcement investigators are pursuing, Fogal said.

The 39-year-old former Franklin County woman was found in Dalton, where she had been living with a husband and three children under the name Jessica Keil. She was arrested by U.S. marshals and extradited to Pennsylvania.

Dice’s case is still pending. She was most recently in Franklin County Court last week, when the case was continued to the September trial term. Bail was originally denied for Dice, but was modified on Jan. 9 to $500,000 unsecured, which was posted on Feb. 12. She is on house arrest awaiting trial, according to court documents.

Shortly after Dice was arrested, she was interviewed by Pennsylvania State Police, Chambersburg, Troopers Cpl. Mark Grove and Paul Decker on Jan. 1. Dice allegedly said she was at the mobile home with Foster on the day of Brumfield’s death, police said.

Dice told police that Foster instructed her to call Brumfield and tell him to come to the mobile home, police said. Dice said she paged Brumfield, he called her back and she told him to come over.

A short time later, Brumfield allegedly arrived at the mobile home with another black male she did not know, Dice told police. Foster allegedly told Dice to go to the bedroom. She said she heard Foster arguing with Brumfield over money.

Dice told police that as she opened the door from the bedroom, she heard a shot and allegedly saw Brumfield falling backward in the living room of the mobile home, police said. Dice said she saw Foster in the living room holding the gun.

On Jan. 10, Trooper Jason Cachara interviewed Steven Drake, no age or address given, a known close associate of Brumfield, who had been previously interviewed in 1995 and 2000.

Drake told Cachara that on the day of the homicide, he was paged by Dice from a pay phone, police said. Drake returned the call and Dice advised him that Foster wanted him to go to the mobile home.

When Drake arrived that day, Foster wasn’t there, so he waited outside until he arrived, he told police. A few minutes later, Drake said Brumfield arrived as well.

Drake said Dice went back to the bedroom while Foster began arguing with Brumfield, police said. The argument escalated and Drake alleges that Foster grabbed a gun off the gun rack above the couch in the living room.

He told police that Brumfield jumped up when Foster grabbed the gun but then Foster shot him and Brumfield fell onto a coffee table, police said. Brumfield was pronounced dead at 8:46 p.m. with the cause of death determined to be a single gunshot wound, police said.

On March 29, 1995, members of the Franklin County Drug Task Force executed a search warrant at the Fort Loudon home of Dice and Foster. At the time, they seized three quarters of an ounce of crack cocaine, $1,000 in cash and drug-related items.

Dice, a known associate of a possible suspect in the shooting, was interviewed by police on June 23, 1995, police said. At the time, Dice allegedly told police that she witnessed Foster shoot Brumfield.

Weeks later, Dice failed to appear at a July 5, 1995, arraignment on felony drug possession charges in the Franklin County Court of Common Pleas. A bench warrant was issued and she was wanted by the Franklin County Sheriff’s Office.

Then on July 14, 1999, Dice was charged in the shooting, although it was not believed she pulled the trigger. Based on her 1995 interview, Dice is accused of cleaning up the blood and disposing of evidence after witnessing the shooting.

Drake was also previously interviewed in 1995 and 2000, stating both times that he was present at the time of the homicide and saw Foster shoot Brumfield with a firearm, police said.

According to court records, Foster was charged on Sept. 27 in Dauphin County with two counts of indecent assault and three counts of harassment. Bail was originally set on Oct. 1 for $20,000 but was increased 10 days later to $150,000 and has not been posted.

Foster was also charged in Lehigh County in 2007 for several drug-related charges, court records state. Additionally, he was charged in Cambria County in 2004 with aggravated assault, simple assault, terroristic threats and escape.

In Franklin County, Foster was charged with 17 counts of manufacture, delivery or possession with intent to deliver a controlled substance in 1994 and 1995 as well as receiving stolen property in 1995.