I am a Killer season 1, episode 2 recap: Killer in the Eyes of the Law


Episode 2 of Netflix’s I am a Killer profiles Kenneth Foster, Jr., sentenced to death in 1997 for a shooting, despite not firing a shot.

Kenneth Foster Jr. is said to be involved in a fatal shooting in San Antonio, Texas, although he never fired a shot. Specifically, Kenneth Foster, Jr. was the driver on that fateful night in 1997. Was he at all responsible? While this I am a Killer episode doesn’t offer a definite answer, it definitely gives enough information to form a reasonable opinion.

Who Is/Was Kenneth Foster, Jr.?

Kenneth Foster, Jr. didn’t have an ideal childhood. According to I am a Killer, both his parents were drug addicts, going in and out of prison. Foster says his father stole things, shot drugs in front of him and taught him how to be a criminal.

Although Kenneth’s grandfather eventually took him under his wing, it wasn’t enough to completely keep the young man away from trouble. Although Ken says he was involved in music, he regrets that he didn’t 100% clean up his act and that he let his grandfather down.

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One night in 1997, Ken was driving with 3 others — Julius Steen, Mauriceo Brown and Dwayne Dillard. Foster admits that they had robbed a woman.

Then, not long after that robbery, Ken says a woman flagged them down. This woman was named Mary Patrick. It’s claimed that, while Mauriceo Brown his on her, a man named Michael LaHood showed up. There was some sort of argument, with different sides saying different things.

Mauriceo said Michael LaHood brandished a weapon, which inevitably led to his being fatally shot. Others say it was Mauriceo who escalated things. Either way, Kenneth Foster, Jr. convicted for being the driver.

Why? Under the Texas Law of Parties, anyone who is a party to a crime can be held responsible for it. So, in 2006, Mauriceo was executed for the shooting. However, Ken Foster unexpectedly caught a lucky break. Texas Governor Rick Perry commuted his sentence, and he is eligible for parole in 2036.

Is Ken Guilty of the Murder?

Mauriceo Brown, Michael LaHood and Mary Patrick. I am a Killer, Netflix

Nico LaHood, Micheal’s brother, became angry, feeling he let his brother down. LaHood thinks Kenneth Foster, Jr. should be held responsible for the murder. He says Foster was himself on probation, “for shooting 2 guys in the stomach.”

Others, however, feel Kenneth was wrongly put on death row. They criticize the Law of Parties, which implies that, by being present, a person likely knows that a crime is going to occur. They find it to be a flimsy premise.

Indeed, it seems that, in a case like this, proof of direct involvement should be a factor. If there’s no proof that Kenneth Foster, Jr. arranged for the shooting, or had any sort of foreknowledge, there’s already some cause for reasonable doubt.

Still, some strongly disagree, based on Foster’s background. Michael Ramos, the prosecutor, agrees with the death sentence. Ramos insists that Ken was the brains behind the outfit. “You can just tell,” Ramos says. But how? By looking into Foster’s eyes and seeing an ever-expansive darkness?

Ramos continues: “He may not have fired that weapon, but he facilitated that whole night.” In other words: By operating that vehicle, Kenneth Foster, Jr. may as well as have pulled that trigger. Ramos says they followed Mary Patrick to Michael Lahood’s home, intending to rob him.

To further illustrate his point, he notes that Kenneth was sentenced to death even before Mauriceo, the shooter, was (though there are many possible explanations for such a thing, including procedural quirks).


I am a Killer doesn’t rule out redemption. In fact, Nico LaHood himself believes in it. Being a Christian, Nico notes how the apostle Paul used to be Saul of Taursus, a murderer, but went on to write much of the New Testament. He even cites himself as an example. He emphasizes how he made a poor choice, not a mistake, to sell drugs in 1994.

He believes he’s improved his life, or at least his career. 14 years after his brother’s murder, Nico LaHood was elected District Attorney for Bexar County, San Antonio. Still, he hasn’t 100% forgiven those who trespassed against his brother.

Nico attended the execution of Mauriceo Brown, saying that opponents of the death penalty haven’t been tested the way he has (though that probably isn’t always true).

Lawrence, Ken’s 90-year old grandfather, believes Ken can redeem himself, though some would say it’s just because he’s the granddad. Still, being a good sport, Nico actually meets with Lawrence.

Unfortunately, Lawrence arguably uses a bad choice of words while discussing the case. Though it may have been a speaking error, Lawrence refers to Mauriceo as “inflicting a punishment” on Nico’s brother — with “punishment” implying Michael LaHood possibly did something wrong.

Is Ken Really a Killer?

Though the show’s called I am a Killer, it’s interesting how they chose this case, as Ken may very well not be a killer. The episode doesn’t delve much into the details of the case against Kenneth Foster, either.

Did they present evidence of Ken’s foreknowledge that a crime — or especially a murder — was to occur against Michael LaHood? To complicate things, it may be true that Ken had actively promoted robberies earlier that night, but robberies are still different from murders. Frankly, the episode’s a little slim on the evidence front.

In any case, Kenneth insists that Mauriceo didn’t intend to rob or kill Michael LaHood and that he was just showing off, trying to be tough. Still, Ken offers his own flimsy defense of Mauriceo, stating that “One man doesn’t rob two people.” Would any court actually believe that kind of logic? Probably not.

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Ken does elaborate on what happened that night, saying Michael LaHood “flicked” them off [he doesn’t say “flip us off”]. To this, Kenneth allegedly said to Mauriceo, “Man, you gonna’ let that guy flick us off like that?”

Now Ken admits, “What I said caused Mauriceo to get out of the car.” Ken then quotes Nico LaHood’s father, Michael LaHood, Sr.: “You can spend 20 or 30 years building a reputation, and in 30 seconds you can ruin it.”

That’s it for this I am a Killer recap? Do you think Kenneth Foster, Jr. is guilty of murder? Let us know in the comments!