It took longer than anticipated for a St. Paul man whose wife’s car was taken at gunpoint to see a 19-year-old man sentenced to jail for his part in a violent December robbery spree that resulted in charges in Hennepin County.
Isaiah Jamal Foster of Richfield was given an 80-month jail term on Tuesday by Hennepin County District Judge Jay Quam for a single charge against him. In a remarkable decision, the court postponed sentencing in a second case that carried a potential 96-month sentence.
Quam stated that he wanted to see Foster utilize the chances and services while inside before deciding on the second term in the spring of 2026.
He responded, “I’m going to probably sentence you to the other 96 months in jail if you simply go in there and kind of squander your time and not prove yourself.”
On June 13, Foster entered a plea of guilty to four felony offenses involving co-defendants, including three counts of first-degree aggravated robbery and theft of a vehicle.
Some of the charges reportedly stemmed from two armed robberies that took place on December 28 in Northeast Minneapolis and involved the use of a stolen car from St. Paul. Four days earlier, three further robberies took place in Columbia Heights and South Minneapolis.
Quam consented to release Foster from detention until his sentence on July 1 during the hearing held last month. According to court records, he warned Foster that by skipping the hearing, he may be sentenced to up to 176 months in jail rather than the 68 months specified in the plea agreement.
Foster escaped the punishment. A multi-agency law enforcement team made up of the Hopkins police, the Ramsey County sheriff’s office, and the FBI detained him in Hopkins six days later.
When the man’s wife came to their house in the Summit Hill neighborhood of St. Paul on December 28, the carjacking that led to Foster’s arrest took place just before 10 a.m.
The mother started to lock her garage door as a car drew up behind her, but three young people entered her garage instead. She was the target of a gunpoint. Her pocketbook and the key to her car were stolen. She still had her 2-year-old inside the car. Her car’s back doors were locked, and she cried at the men repeatedly, “Unlock the door!”
When they did, she hurriedly took her kid out of the car seat and rushed for cover with her.
A 17-year-old was detained by a Ramsey County sheriff’s officer when he fled the stolen car about 40 minutes later. He and a 14-year-old were both charged by the Ramsey County Attorney’s office.
According to Dennis Gerhardstein, a spokesman for the Ramsey County Attorney’s office, Foster has not been prosecuted in connection with the carjacking “due to a lack of sufficient evidence to establish the case beyond a reasonable doubt.” The probe is still active and continuing, though.
Foster was accused with robbing an 81-year-old outside the 1110 West Larpenteur Avenue Walgreens in St. Paul a few days prior to the carjacking. The woman’s pocketbook was stolen, and she passed out as she was pulled to the ground.
Foster’s mother phoned the police after he was taken into custody and recognized him as the man in the images from the shop security footage that the police had made available to the public for tips.
Foster’s mother eventually apologized for first blaming her son for the crime. Felony assault and attempted robbery charges against Foster were dropped in March by the Ramsey County prosecutor because they “cannot establish the accusations beyond a reasonable doubt.”
Foster appeared in court once more on Tuesday to get his punishment. The St. Paul spouse agreed, stating that Foster’s choice to flee caused “a lot of anxiety and worry for my family” and that his July 7 arrest created “a feeling of comfort in our household.”
The defendant is still awaiting sentence. He informed the judge that he had several opportunities to change today’s result. Please think about imposing a harsh punishment and let the community know that these actions and disrespect for the law are just intolerable.
Foster was questioned by Quam about skipping the first planned sentence. He retorted that he was afraid of going to jail. He expressed regret to his victims, saying, “I’m sorry for the problems I’ve caused you people.”
Foster informed Quam that after he is released from jail, he plans to attend barber school rather than choose a “criminal lifestyle.”
“There are many of chances for you to demonstrate your accomplishments in prison,”