Beating leaves girl dead, boy critical

By Michael Davis

A Stone Mountain man is being held without bond in the Clayton County Jail on charges of murder and aggravated battery following a beating that left one child dead and another in critical condition.

Robert Foster, 39, allegedly beat his ex-girlfriend's two children with a lug wrench, killing 5-year-old Tacara Judon and critically injuring her brother, 10-year-old Ronald Porter, early Saturday morning.

Police say Foster himself placed the initial 911 call, asking for rescue personnel to respond to the home on Wood Hollow Lane in Jonesboro just before 1 a.m. Saturday.

Police say he called the children's mother several times, asking if he could come to the house, but she refused.

"He had made several calls wanting to come over and the last call, he said, ?I'm coming,'" said Clayton County Police Det. Michael Harris.

Harris said that when he got to 32-year-old Octavia Judon's home, "She had apparently left to take her other acquaintance away from the house." But Foster arrived, Judon's acquaintance's truck was still in the driveway which "apparently enraged the suspect," said Clayton police Capt. Jeff Turner.

Foster allegedly ran over the mailbox and rammed the pickup truck into the garage door, through which he entered the house.

Police say he went upstairs to the children's bedrooms and beat them both with a lug wrench.

"The first call came from the house. He told the 911 operator they need to send someone to the location because he tried to kill his girlfriend's children," Harris said.

Octavia Judon made it home before police arrived, gave them a description of Foster's car and lead them into the house.

Police, searching for a place for a Lifeflight helicopter to land, spotted Foster sitting on a curb on nearby Old South Drive. He was near his car which had broken down from the damage to the front. "He apparently broke down along the way as he was exiting the neighborhood," Turner said.

Porter was taken by helicopter to Children's Healthcare of Atlanta at Egleston where Sunday, he remained in critical condition. Police say both children suffered severe head trauma in the beatings.

Turner said Foster and Judon broke up in October following a relationship that lasted several months. "They worked together, so they had contact," Turner said. He couldn't elaborate on their occupations.

A neighbor, Bruce Carlson, said Judon and her children moved into the house about a year and a half ago. "She rented the house," he said, adding that several other houses in the neighborhood are rented.

He said he didn't know Judon very well, adding, "Everybody pretty much keeps to themselves."

Emily Nordlum, 10, a classmate of Porter, said that the boy's sister, "was very special to him."

"His sister didn't deserve to die," she said.

Police say that should Porter die, the charges against Foster could be upgraded to two counts of murder. Turner said he had no arrest record in Clayton County, but were not sure if he had a record elsewhere. Foster could face the death penalty in the case.

As of Sunday, no other charges had been filed in the case, Turner said.