Victim's niece ready for Foster

Wednesday, May 24th 2000, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

McALESTER, Okla. (AP) -- Donna Maria Loggins couldn't care less what her uncle's murderer might say before he is put to death in Oklahoma's execution chamber.

The only living relative of murdered grocery store owner Claude Wiley, Loggins needs to hear no last words of remorse, no explanations. She wants Charles Adrian Foster dead, and she wants him to go in silence.

"I'm tired of Foster living, the state of Oklahoma feeding him," she said. "I want this over with."

Foster, 52, faces execution shortly after midnight Wednesday for beating and stabbing 74-year-old Wiley to death during a 1983 grocery delivery.

The U.S. Supreme Court denied several appeals Wednesday morning for Foster, including an application for a stay of execution. There was no dissent in rejection of the stay application. The court also denied a separate appeal.

A spokesman for state Attorney General Drew Edmondson, who tried Foster as Muskogee County district attorney, said the execution was expected to take place as scheduled.

As officials prepared for his execution, Foster requested a last meal of catfish, hushpuppies, cole slaw with tartar sauce, black walnut ice cream and root beer.

In April, the Oklahoma Pardon and Parole Board rejected clemency for Foster, who declared "I am innocent" and gave the board an Easter card that he had colored.

Several witnesses, including two nuns from Minnesota, pleaded for Foster's life, describing him as a gentle, compassionate Christian who has spent his time in prison studying the Bible.

At the hearing, his attorney contended that Foster was mentally retarded, something that wasn't considered by the jury that convicted him and served as the basis for his final appeal.

Wiley, who had operated a neighborhood grocery in Muskogee since the end of World War II, was delivering groceries to the Foster home when he was beaten with a baseball bat. He later was stabbed three times in the chest.

His body was discovered several days later in a wooded area about a mile from the Muskogee home Foster shared with his wife, Eula Mae Collins.

Murder charges were filed after authorities found blood stains and teeth fragments at the Foster home.

Collins had testified that her husband asked her to call Wiley for a delivery and then waited behind a door with the bat. She pleaded guilty to a charge of accessory to the fact and served a short time in prison before her release in 1984.

Wiley had initially refused the requested delivery to the Foster home "because they were able to help themselves," Loggins said. But he finally gave in.

He often delivered groceries to the poor and infirm and gave many customers credit, she said. Loggins described her mother's brother as a kind man who was "always whistling and always smiling."

"My uncle helped everybody and everybody loved my uncle," said Loggins, 55, of Muskogee. "I did too."

Loggins planned to witness Thursday's scheduled execution at the Oklahoma State Penitentiary, the sixth this year.

Seventeen years after the murder, "we're past due," she said. "He should have been killed the next day."