Jury finds man guilty of manslaughter
by Chris Norwood
TALLADEGA — A Talladega County jury of six women and six men deliberated for about four and a half hours Thursday morning before finding Ryan Foster, 24, guilty of manslaughter.

Foster was indicted for murder but convicted of the lesser included offense.

Foster will be sentenced by Circuit Judge Julian King March 20. He faces 10 to 20 years in prison.

Foster was accused of fatally shooting Cedrick Dothard in the parking lot of the Odyssey Lounge in Lincoln in the early morning hours of March 13, 2011.

According to eyewitnesses, Foster either bumped into or was bumped by Dorrell Gaston in the parking lot as the club was closing. The two exchanged words, although the exact wording of this exchange varied according to different witnesses. In any case, Foster walked to his car and took a black handgun out from under the seat. He initially fired into the air, but lowered the gun and shot Dothard in the chest. Dothard had been standing next to Gaston when he was shot.

Chaos ensued according to testimony. Two of the club’s security guards began firing into the air to try and calm the crowd down. They fired a total of 45 shots, according to their testimony. At this point, the guards were not aware that Foster had just shot Dothard, and were attempting to protect him from the mob. Meanwhile, Dothard was put in the back seat of a car closest to the road, which carried him to two Lincoln Police cars. The police called an ambulance, got Dothard in and one secured the scene while the other went up to the club.

Dothard was taken to St. Vincent St. Clair Hospital in Pell City, where he died about three hours after getting shot. The cause of death was massive internal bleeding.

Donterio Wallace managed to get into the car with Foster before he was able to drive off.

Wallace, who admitted he lied to the police to help his friend, said he saw the gun in the car and that Foster had told him, “I fired into the air, and then the gun came down and it went off.”

Foster’s previous $50,000 bond was revoked after the verdict was read, and King set a new, $50,000 bond.

Across the hall, a second jury convicted Gary Braxton of Talladega for assault in the second degree.

Braxton assaulted Talladega Police Officer Jake Heath in February 2012, when Heath came to arrest him for domestic violence against his wife.

Braxton will be sentenced by Circuit Judge Bo Hollingsworth. He is facing one year and one day to 10 years in prison.

Contact Chris Norwood at cnorwood@dailyhome.com.

© 2013