Bail set at $500k for Ferndale man accused of drunkenly stabbing wife in chest

A Ferndale man accused of stabbing his wife in the chest made his first appearance in court Monday, March 9, on a charge of attempted murder.

Charles Hendricks Foster, 64, called an emergency line around 2:15 p.m. Friday, saying he wanted to kill his wife, according to police. On the phone he kept telling the dispatcher to “shut up.” Police believe he’d been drinking.

Officers met Foster five minutes later outside his second-story apartment in the 5600 block of Third Avenue, near downtown Ferndale. He told them he’d already stabbed his wife, Gayle Leigh Corris, 58, in the home. She’d suffered a wound to the right side of her chest.

Paramedics rushed Corris to St. Joseph hospital. She survived.

According to police, Foster claimed they were arguing about their alcohol use: Foster wanted to give up alcohol; Corris did not. He blamed her for his alcohol problem, said Ferndale Police Lt. Bill Hatchett.

Superior Court Commissioner Martha Gross read Foster his rights, in a loud voice, because Foster is hard of hearing, at his first appearance in court Monday. He faces a charge of attempted murder in the second degree while armed with a deadly weapon. His bail had been set over the weekend at $500,000.

Foster — a white man around 5-foot-4, balding, with a short gray full beard and faded greenish tattoos along both arms — walked from the jail courtroom with a slight limp, as a guard escorted him back to his cell.

Corris had been released from St. Joseph hospital as of Monday, said a hospital spokeswoman.

Police said the couple had moved from Pierce County to Ferndale about two weeks ago. Foster assaulted a roommate in April 2013 when he lived in Tacoma. She told police he’d pulled a gun as he illegally tried to evict her, according to charging papers. Felony assault charges were reduced to a misdemeanor in a plea deal; Foster was handed a suspended jail sentence of one year. He served a total of about a week behind bars.