Murder suspect pled guilty to avoid death penalty

- The man accused of murdering his best friend and roommate asked to plead guilty Thursday in order to avoid the death penalty.

Charles Foster's attorney, Michael Peacock made a calculated move in court, saying, "he has a desire to enter a plea of guilty on all four charges on condition of his understanding that the court can only impose a sentence of life in prison."

Investigators said Foster's was a crime of greed and betrayal - and exceptionally violent. They said foster used a hatchet to kill Josh Deas and Ken Simmons in the mobile home they shared in Seffner.

Detectives said he then stole Simmons' car and tried to pawn items belonging to his best friend.

His father, James Foster maintained his son's innocence at the time he was arrested.

"Never been violent... never, and I'm just not buying the fact that he did that to his best friend," James Foster explained three years ago.

However, investigators say Foster did commit the murders, and now, Charles Foster admits to the crimes by way of a guilty plea. 

Foster and his attorneys aim to avoid the death penalty based on the U.S. Supreme Court's ruling Florida's death penalty process is unconstitutional.

Until it's fixed, the state cannot hand down a death sentence.

Foster's attorney's request seemed to catch prosecutor Natalia Silver off guard.

"The state is respectfully requesting the court to allow the state sufficient time just to respond in writing, and to set this motion in the afternoon," the prosecutor said. 

Peacock could said he could not believe what he was hearing.

"It's rare. I've never encountered it, in 33 years, where a prosecutor standing up and objecting to an entry of a plea," he explained.

The judge, Kimberly Fernandez sided with the defense.

"There currently is no statue in affect, at this time in the state of Florida, for the imposition of the death penalty, " Fernandez said.

So until legislators change the law, the state's death penalty is on hold and defendants like Charles Foster can dodge it all together.

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