PORT RICHEY — A man and a teenager accused of knocking over and fatally injuring a convenience store clerk during a robbery have been charged with murder.
Danny Foster, a 61-year-old 7-Eleven clerk who was one month away from retirement, hit his head on the concrete sidewalk as the robbers fled during the Jan. 10 holdup. He died the next day from blunt head trauma, authorities said.
The two suspects got $40 from the store, according to the Pasco County Sheriff's Office.
"We want justice for Danny," said Pat Morris, 48, a close friend who lived next door to Foster and his wife of 37 years, Sonja. Morris said Sonja Foster is not able to speak publicly about her loss.
"She's heartbroken," Morris said.
Russell D. Lane, 30, and Adam L. Moyer, 17, were charged Thursday with first-degree murder. In this kind of case, the killing doesn't have to be premeditated — the state has to prove only that the men killed Foster while committing a violent felony.
They already faced charges of robbery with a deadly weapon, aggravated battery and aggravated assault. Another clerk told deputies that Moyer pointed a shotgun at him and cleaned out the register. When Foster walked in on the robbery, authorities said, Lane pushed him to the ground so that he and Moyer could run away.
Both suspects are from New Port Richey. Moyer, who is charged as an adult, will turn 18 next week. Both are being held without bail.
Danny and Sonja Foster, who couldn't have children of their own, acted as adoptive parents to many people they met, including Morris. Danny Foster worked the 11 p.m. to 6 a.m. shift at 7-Eleven and made friends with regulars. He put his own money in the cash register when customers were short of change. He knew when night shift workers were headed his way and put on a fresh pot of coffee. He listened to their problems.
And Wednesday, at Foster's memorial service, they came — the person who brought shipments of doughnuts to the store at 9039 Ridge Road, the woman who brought newspapers — to celebrate the man they knew. They spoke of his humor, his kindness. Everyone spoke of how excited he was to retire. He wanted to fish and planned on taking some neighborhood kids with him.
"This man was so looking forward to his retirement," Morris said Friday on her porch, her voice sad. She's been checking on Mrs. Foster every day. "What a good-hearted man he was."
Erin Sullivan can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or (727) 869-6229.