FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
December 12, 2011
For More Information, contact:
Joy Patterson (334) 242-7491
Alabama Attorney General
Suzanne Webb (334) 242-7351
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AG ANNOUNCES MURDER CONVICTION UPHELD BY APPEALS
COURT IN 1980 MURDER
(MONTGOMERY) – Attorney General Luther Strange announced that the Alabama
Court of Criminal Appeals (on Friday, December 9, 2011) upheld the conviction and sentence of
Jamie Letson for the murder of Katherine Foster in 1980.
More than 30 years after a young woman’s body was found in the woods at the
University of South Alabama in Mobile, a fellow student was sentenced in 2010 to life
imprisonment for her murder. Jamie Letson was convicted and sentenced for the murder of 18-
year-old Katherine Foster in 1980 when they were both freshmen students at the University.
The Attorney General’s Office re-opened the case and prosecuted at the request of
Foster’s family, as well as Mobile County Sheriff Sam Cochran and then-Mobile Police Chief
Phillip Garrett. Letson was indicted in November of 2008 for Foster’s murder.
The Attorney General’s Office presented evidence during a trial in May 2010 in Mobile
County Circuit Court, resulting in the jury’s verdict that Letson was guilty of first-degree
murder on May 27, 2010. Both Foster and Letson were students at the University of South
Alabama in 1980. Witnesses testified that Letson was jealous of Foster, and that she exhibited
an extreme obsession with Foster’s boyfriend.
Prosecutors said Letson lured Foster into a wooded area and shot her twice in the head.
Evidence was presented that Letson confessed the crime to a member of her Alcoholics
Anonymous group approximately eight years ago, and that she wrote a confession letter
addressed to Foster as part of her AA program. Upon being arrested, Letson made a detailed
confession to police, which was presented to the Court during her sentencing hearing. Letson’s
confession was corroborated by evidence at the scene of the murder.
The successful appeal was handled by Assistant Attorney General Will Dill of the
Attorney General’s Criminal Appeals Division. Those who handled the prosecution of this case
included Assistant Attorneys General Don Valeska, Will Dill and Tina Coker Hammonds;
special agents of the Attorney General’s Investigations Division; Victim Service Officer Doris
Hancock; and Janice Hughes who served as trial coordinator.
501 Washington Avenue * Montgomery, AL 36104 * (334) 242-7300