Local News

Tuesday, Feb 11 2014 11:58 AM

Man sentenced to 25 to life for murder of girlfriend's 3-year-old daughter

  1. 1 of 3

    By Casey Christie / The Californian

    Eric Edward Foster, left, is sentenced for first-degree murder in the death of his girlfriend's daughter Tuesday in Bakersfield.

    click to expand click to collapse
  2. 2 of 3

    By Casey Christie / The Californian

    After the sentencing for Eric Edward Foster for first-degree murder in the death of his grilfriend's daughter, the little girls family and friends console each other outside the courtroom, Tuesday in Kern County Superior Court.

    click to expand click to collapse
  3. 3 of 3

    By Henry A. Barrios / The Californian

    Angela Hanna's sentencing for her connection with the death of her child has been delayed. File photo.

    click to expand click to collapse
BY JASON KOTOWSKI Californian staff writer jkotowski@bakersfield.com

Eric Edward Foster intentionally burned Trinity Monique Hanna in a bathtub, angry the 3-year-old had soiled herself.

He'd tried to make amends with her afterward, but quickly became annoyed when the child avoided him.

So over a period of a month he inflicted a series of injuries on the girl, injuries to which her mother turned a blind eye, injuries that ultimately killed the child on Jan. 24, 2012.

Foster, 28, was sentenced to 25 years to life in prison Tuesday during an emotional hearing in which family members of Trinity wished the same pain upon him he had meted out to the girl.

Trinity's great-grandmother, Shirley Vickrey, called Foster "an evil monster beyond words" whose life should be made "uncomfortable" by his fellow inmates once they learned what he did to a defenseless girl.

"You're not a man," Vickrey said. "You're a poor excuse and disgrace of humanity."

She said his nickname, "Twizted," is appropriate. Foster feigned concern for Trinity while he was responsible for the girl's torment, Vickrey said.

Another family member yelled "Die in hell!" at Foster as she left the courtroom. Deputies stood in the hallway to keep order as more than a dozen people attending the sentencing made their way outside.

The burly, bearded Foster whispered with his attorney, Frank Butkiewicz, but otherwise made no comment during sentencing. He pleaded no contest last month to first-degree murder in return for the dismissal of four other felonies, including torture.

At the time of her death, Trinity had a burn on her back and bruises on her body in various stages of healing, and swelling and discoloration of her vagina, according to coroner's office reports. An autopsy revealed a fracture to the left side of her skull and a severely swollen brain.

Foster at first said the girl's injuries were accidental. But after failing a polygraph test he admitted abusing the child during the few months he lived with her and her mother in Taft.

He told investigators he placed Trinity in a bathtub and sprayed hot water on her back after she soiled herself, according to reports filed in court. The child was hospitalized for second-degree burns.

After her release, the reports say Foster slammed her down on a bicycle seat, injuring her vagina. A few hours later he roughly placed her in a highchair to "intentionally hurt her."

Foster told investigators he dropped Trinity and her head hit a coffee table on the day of her death. The girl's mother, Angela Hanna, took Trinity to San Joaquin Community Hospital.

Trinity was unresponsive by the time they arrived. She died a short time later.

Hanna said Foster used meth and smoked marijuana. He got in a lot of fights. And yet, she did whatever he told her.

Given all these issues, why didn't she report the abuse?

Hanna told investigators she didn't believe Foster was capable of hurting Trinity. She believed him when he told her the girl accidentally hurt herself.

She believed this despite the fact that Foster was the only person with Trinity every time the child was injured.

That refusal to acknowledge the obvious cost Hanna her freedom. She pleaded no contest to four counts of willful cruelty to a child and was sentenced in March 2013 to 10 years in prison.

 

Have something to share? Comment on this story

Bakersfield.com Daily Deal!

Valley Comedy

Daily Deal

$10 Comedy Show Tickets for $5

Value
$10
% Off
50%
You Save
$5
8 Bought
Buy Now! See more deals