A Fresno man was sentenced to 74 years to life in prison for fatally shooting a woman and wounding her husband inside the former Crossroads nightclub two years ago.
Craig Lamar Foster, 46, said nothing when his punishment was announced in Fresno County Superior Court.
In May, a jury found him guilty of second-degree murder in the killing of Janee Tatum, 28, and guilty of the attempted murder Herman Tatum. The jury also found that Foster used a gun in the commission of the crimes.
In announcing the sentence, Judge Timothy Kams gave Foster 15 years to life in prison for the murder conviction, nine years for the attempted murder conviction and 50 years to life for using a gun to shoot the victims.
Never miss a local story.
Upon reaching age 60 and after serving 25 years, Foster will be eligible for release under the Elderly Parole program, the District Attorney’s Office said.
Judge Timothy Kams sentenced Craig Lamar Foster to 15 years to life in prison for the murder conviction, nine years for the attempted murder conviction and 50 years to life for using a gun to shoot the two victims.
The shooting happened in the late hours of March 23, 2014, after police say Foster tried to flirt with Janee Tatum. Foster then got into an argument with her husband.
During the trial, Foster admitted to shooting Herman Tatum, who was struck twice in the back while trying to protect his wife
Janee Tatum was struck by a bullet in the head, but Foster testified that he didn’t shoot her, according his trial attorney, Eric Green. The bullet that struck her was never found, Green said.
Green told the jury that Foster acted in self-defense because he saw Herman Tatum reaching for his gun in an aggressive manner. But there was no proof that Herman Tatum ever fired his weapon.
Prosecutor Gabriel Brickey said there was evidence that Foster fired four times; shell casings at the crime scene matched his 9 mm semiautomatic handgun.
Before the shooting, Foster and the Tatums didn’t know each other.
After the shooting, police found two witnesses who saw the gunman. The witnesses and Herman Tatum later picked Foster out from a police photo lineup.
Foster left Fresno after the shooting, but was captured six weeks later by a federal FBI task force in Cleveland. He initially told agents his name was Anthony Smith before admitting his true identity, Fresno police said at the time.
The shooting of the Tatums and other violent incidents led to the closure of the Crossroads at Cedar and Shields avenues.