An Alton man was sentenced to 135 years in prison in connection with the shootings of three people, including a woman whose leg was nearly severed.
Steven Foster, 37, received the sentence Wednesday in Circuit Court in Madison County. Following a week-long jury trial in March, he was found guilty of three counts of attempted first-degree murder, three counts of aggravated battery with a firearm and one count of aggravated discharge of a firearm.
“This is a repeat criminal. This isn’t the first time he has terrorized our community, but it’s definitely the last,” said Madison County State’s Attorney Tom Haine said.
The shootings occurred on Sept. 8, 2021 in the 700 block of Oakwood Estates in Alton. They were the result of a dispute between Foster and one of the victims, who had made fun of the condition of a car driven by Foster’s friend.
After arguing, Foster left the scene but soon returned and opened fire, according to court records.
All three victims suffered serious injuries and were treated at a hospital in St. Louis. One victim suffered a gunshot that “nearly blew her leg off,” Assistant State’s Attorney Morgan Hudson told the sentencing judge, but doctors successfully reattached the limb.
At the sentencing hearing Wednesday, Hudson asked Associate Judge Neil Schroeder to impose a sentence exceeding 100 years. She noted that Foster fired into a crowd of more than 20 people, and that a baby had been present minutes earlier.
Hudson also noted that Foster has a lengthy criminal record and was on federal probation for a drug offense at the time, yet he chose to arm himself and return to the dispute.
“He could have gone home. He should have gone home,” Hudson argued.
Foster will be required to serve at least 85 percent of the sentence.
Haine commended the witnesses, who demonstrated courage by cooperating in the investigation and testifying at trial. Hudson and Assistant State’s Attorney Luke Yager prosecuted the case. Alton Police Department, Illinois State Police Crime Lab and other agencies assisted, Haine said.
“I’m proud of the work of the State’s Attorney’s Office in this case, and I’m equally proud of the way the community came together to help us secure this conviction and sentence,” Haine said. “Fortunately, no lives were lost as a result of this violence.
“This was a complicated investigation that involved a very chaotic scene,” Haine said.