Daniel Prater, who was arraigned Monday on a charge of aggravated murder in the death of his on-again, off-again girlfriend Henrietta Foster, recently served time in prison after being convicted of domestic violence in a case involving Ms. Foster, authorities said.
Prater, 49, of 25574 Broad St., Perrysburg, and Ms. Foster are familiar to Perrysburg Township police and Perrysburg Municipal Court.
Court records list several cases under Ms. Foster's name since 2000, including charges of domestic violence and disorderly conduct, and several cases under Prater's name since 1989, including criminal damaging, traffic violations, and disorderly conduct. Some charges for each were dismissed; others resulted in conviction.
Prater was arrested Sunday in a neighborhood known as The Heights, where he and Ms. Foster, 57, had their homes. Her body was found inside her home at 12297 Gloria St. after police received a call at 7:40 a.m.
According to court and police documents, Prater has lived at both Ms. Foster's Gloria Street address and on Broad Street. He is being held on $200,000 cash bond in the Wood County Justice Center. Bond was set during an arraignment in Perrysburg Municipal Court. Judge S. Dwight Osterud set Prater's preliminary hearing for Thursday.
Judge Osterud said at this point, there are no specifications for the death penalty, which means, if convicted, Prater could serve 15 years to life in prison.
Specifications in the aggravated murder criminal complaint allege Prater is a repeat violent offender and was convicted April 2, 2008, in Wood County Common Pleas Court of domestic violence. Ms. Foster was the victim in that case. He received a one-year sentence and was in prison from March 20, 2008, to Jan. 1.
In that case, according to a Jan. 6, 2008, Perrysburg Township police report, Prater said he and Ms. Foster had been drinking, an argument ensued, and he beat her.
Township police have investigated other incidents of alleged assault and domestic violence involving Prater and Ms. Foster. In July, 2007, Prater told police he had a possible broken leg resulting from a domestic incident with Ms. Foster. According to the police report, Prater was hurt when Ms. Foster pushed him during a fight over "an alcohol meeting" they attended earlier in Perrysburg.
In that report, Prater said he "lives on and off" with Ms. Foster at her home.
On April 5, police were sent to Ms. Foster's home on a domestic-dispute call. The report states Prater and Ms. Foster were both "highly intoxicated," and Prater told police he would stay at his home for the remainder of the evening.
Gwen Howe-Gebers, an assistant county prosecutor, declined to comment on how Ms. Foster died, pending the outcome of an autopsy and further investigation. She said she expected the case to be presented to a Wood County grand jury when it meets May 6.
County Prosecutor Paul Dobson declined to label the murder a "domestic violence" homicide.
Authorities declined to describe how she died or whether a weapon was used to kill her.
Police would not say what relationship the two may have had or what may have precipitated the killing.
Dr. Douglas W. Hess, Wood County coroner, could not be reached for comment.
On Aug. 12, 2007, police responded to a domestic-violence call, again at Ms. Foster's home on Gloria Street, and once again involving the couple.
Ms. Foster, according to the police report, had a black eye and said that Prater poked her in the eye two nights earlier. Prater had scratches on his arms and chest, and he told police she inflicted the scratches two nights earlier. She wanted Prater to "get out and leave." He agreed to go.
Ms. Foster, according to the report, told police she was "done with Daniel and she did not love him anymore."
The report concludes with a notation from Aug. 13, the very next day.
Officers saw the couple drinking beer together at a home on Broad Street. "The officers stopped and spoke with both parties and they advised the officers that they are back in love and there is no problem."
Staff writer Jennifer Feehan contributed to this report.
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