COLVILLE, Wash. - The Colville community is shocked to learn this week that a Level 3 sex offender will spend less than ten years in prison after an attack in their city. Because of an error by police, a man who kidnapped a woman and tried to stuff her in his car will walk the streets again.
Healther Kilgore's Memorial Day 2015 started out like any other day. The Jamin' Java Drive Thru Espresso barista arrived to work at 6 a.m. to find a regular customer, Jason Russell Foster, parked and waiting to be served.
"I got out of my car very fast, trying to hurry up and open up to make him his coffee," Kilgore said. "I noticed halfway to my door that he had hopped out of his car."
Before she knew it, Foster was attacking Kilgore, throwing her to the ground.
"I realized at that moment that I was going to die. I looked up at him and he had a box knife in his hand and he was coming at me," she said. "I started kicking as hard as I could and in the midst of the struggle, I ended up with the box knife."
Foster drove off, but not before Kilgore was able to identify the first three digits of his license plate. Within 24 hours Whitman County officials identified Foster after he blew a tire 100 miles from Colville.
Nearly 18 months after the attack, Stevens County Superior Court sentenced Foster to nine years in prison, a relatively light sentence for the Level 3 sex offender. Foster was convicted of First Degree Rape in Pierce County 16 years ago.
The charge and corresponding sentence almost certainly would have been more severe if it weren't for a Colville Police Department procedural error. Sources close to the case claim that a backpack containing condoms, zip ties and numbing agents found in Foster's vehicle at the time of his arrest had been inadvertently destroyed while in police custody.
After Thursday's sentence, Kilgore is left with less than a sense of closure.
"I'm happy that he's put away, but I'm not 100 percent satisfied with the conviction and sentencing," she said. "I'm not his first offense. I feel that he will do this again. I feel that the system has failed me and the community."
With credit for time served, Foster will be released in seven and a half years.