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posted: 6/18/2010 12:01 AM

Not guilty plea in cabbie's slaying

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  • Darryel J. Garner

    Darryel J. Garner


A Waukegan man accused of killing a cabdriver during a robbery attempt pleaded not guilty Thursday to first-degree murder

Darryel Garner, 38, could face the death penalty if convicted in the March 13 shooting of Patrick Foster, 45, of Park City.

Lake County Assistant State's Attorney Eric Kalata said Garner, of the 1000 block of Westmoreland Road, was a passenger in Foster's cab on a trip to Zion.

Garner shot Foster five times in the face, back and neck, Kalata said, before Foster jumped into the back seat of the cab and subdued his attacker.

Although seriously wounded, Foster called police from his cell phone and held down Garner until help could arrive.

Foster was initially treated at Advocate Condell Medical Center in Libertyville, but was later transferred to Froedert Medical Center in Milwaukee where he died May 24.

Kalata said Garner is eligible for the death penalty because the murder occurred during the course of an armed robbery.

He said State's Attorney Michael Waller will decide if capital punishment will be sought after a complete review of the facts of the case and Garner's background.

In addition, Kalata said, Garner is eligible for an extended term sentence of 45 years to life in prison because a firearm was used to commit the murder.

Circuit Judge John Phillips scheduled a trial of the case for Sept. 24 and ordered Garner, who is held without bond, to appear in court July 23.