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Lakeside grad charged in SC stabbing, kidnapping

Posted: March 28, 2012 - 10:57am  |  Updated: March 28, 2012 - 10:59am
Justin Winthrop Foss, left, 20, of Marshall Way in Evans, and Kathleen Elizabeth Fentress, 16, of Greer, S.C., were arrested Tuesday, March 27, 2012, accused of stabbing her step-father and holding him and her mother hostage inside their Greer home.  HAND OUT
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Justin Winthrop Foss, left, 20, of Marshall Way in Evans, and Kathleen Elizabeth Fentress, 16, of Greer, S.C., were arrested Tuesday, March 27, 2012, accused of stabbing her step-father and holding him and her mother hostage inside their Greer home.

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An Evans man was arrested Tuesday after he and a 16-year-old Greer, S.C., girl stabbed her step-father, held him and her mother hostage and ran away together.


Justin Winthrop Foss, 20, of Marshall Way, allegedly entered the Riverwood Farms subdivision home of Kathleen Elizabeth Fentress, 16, at about 5 a.m., according to a Greer Police Department incident report.


Fentress’ mother, Stephanie Cowart, told police that her daughter had been communicating with Foss, a 2010 Lakeside High School graduate, on Facebook. She believes her daughter let Foss into their house and helped him get into the gated community.


Once inside, Foss cut and stabbed Cowart’s husband, Ulie Cowart.


“It was a slit across the neck and a stab in the shoulder,” Greer Police Department Lt. Jim Holcombe said.


Holcombe said because the case is still under investigation, he couldn’t release exact details of the assault.


Foss and Fentress then tied her mother’s hands and put painter’s tape over her mouth. Foss took all of the phones in the house and didn’t allow the couple to call for help or leave.


They threatened the couple with a gun and demanded money and jewelry, according to arrest warrants issued for both. A firearm was later found inside the home, Holcombe said.


At about 8:45 a.m., Foss and Fentress left together in a gold Ford Explorer.


Fentress’ mother, a former controller for Fairway Outdoor Advertising in Augusta, ran to a neighbor’s house to call for help. Police arrived and found the neighbors with Fentress’ step-father, who was lying in a pool of blood on his bed.


The former owner of Cowart Cabinets Inc. in North Augusta, was taken to Greer Memorial Hospital, where he remained hospitalized after surgery, Holcombe said.


The Greer police immediately released information about the pair, who were stopped on U.S. Highway 221 near Roebuck, S.C., about 40 minutes later. The pair might have been headed back to the Augusta area, Holcombe said.


Foss and Fentress were charged with attempted murder, conspiracy, two counts of kidnapping and two counts of armed robbery. Foss also was charged with possession of a weapon during the commission of a crime.


At a bond hearing held Tuesday, a judge denied bond for Foss and granted a $300,000 bond to Fentress.


Foss is being held at the Greenville County Detention Center, while Fentress was sent to the Greenville County Juvenile Detention Center.

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