Plea entered in Plainville death

By MIKE CORN

mcorn@dailynews.net

Sentencing for Marcus A. Smith on a single count of voluntary manslaughter has been set for Feb. 6 in Rooks County District Court.

Smith, 41, pleaded guilty to the reduced charge Jan. 9.

He first was charged in connection with the May 14 death of Robert M. Foster II. Smith had been living in Foster's rural Plainville residence prior to an altercation that resulted in Foster's death. The charge was upgraded to first-degree murder in June.

When he asked to have an attorney appointed to represent him, Smith said he was homeless, with his occupation as that of a "snakeroot digger."

Most of the details surrounding the case haven't been made public, other than through a coroner's report suggesting a physical confrontation led to Foster's death.

That report said the two men got into a fight.

Smith "said he hit Bob several times, that Bob fell backwards to the ground," the coroner's narrative of the scene said. "Marcus stated after Bob fell backwards, he noticed Bob was 'snoring.' "

Smith then left the house, returning with a friend, but found Foster unresponsive. He then called authorities.

Under the terms of the plea agreement, signed Dec. 7, the charges against Smith involve a crime of a "sudden quarrel or in the heat of passion."

Sentencing, under the plea agreement, will be based on the state's guidelines, and no one will ask for a departure.

A jury trial in the case had been scheduled to commence Feb. 25.

In an unrelated case in Rooks County, a series of charges against Tiffany M. Albee were dismissed for a second time because the victim's whereabouts are not known.

Charges of aggravated kidnapping and attempted second degree murder of Roland French and a charge of endangering a child all were dismissed with prejudice in December.

Magistrate Judge Doug Bigge's notes in the case suggest prosecutors don't intend to refile the charges.

Albee was charged in connection with an altercation that resulted in the stabbing of French, who has not shown up at any of the court hearings as a witness.