January 12, 2017
New York, New York
Leondra Foster (32) is killed and her body is dismembered by her boyfriend Somorie Moses (40)
On January 17, 2017, the headless torso of a woman was found with other dismembered body parts at a trash sorting and weigh station in the Bronx. Investigators were able to link the body to a phone number which belonged to Moses.
The New York Police Department’s Violent Felony Apprehension Squad went to Moses’ apartment on January 20, at which point he attempted to flee out the back of the building though he was unable to elude police and was arrested. While in pursuit of Moses, a detective noticed blood on the walls of his living room as well as the front door, and a large white stain on the wood which was believed to have been caused by bleach.
A search of Moses’ home on January 22 revealed additional body parts stored in a stand-alone freezer. The body parts from the freezer and those from the trash station were determined to have come from the same person: Leondra Foster. It was determined she died of blunt force trauma.
Moses admitted to dismembering Foster’s body but denied killing her, and he claimed he ran from police because of his profession as a self-described “gangster pimp” as well as his possession of a firearm and cocaine in his apartment. According to Moses, Foster was severely beaten by a client whom Moses attacked in retaliation. Foster then fell in the bathroom after becoming disoriented and died from blunt force head trauma resulting from the fall. Moses panicked and cut Foster’s body into 9 pieces, placing her head, hands, and feet in his freezer beneath various frozen foods. Foster’s torso, with one leg still attached, along with various other body parts were then discarded at the trash station.
The prosecution contended Moses had forced Foster into the sex industry to profit from her work, and routinely abused her eventually escalating to a fatal beating. Phone records were brought into evidence to prove Foster was still alive when her last client left, and the prosecution produced texts from Moses to Foster in which he threatened to “make her eyes close forever” and “I will get you. Not how you expect and not when you expect.”
Moses’ defense attorney, Julie Clark, argued Foster would likely not want to kill Foster, if only because he viewed her as a financial asset. “He’s a businessman and I submit to you that a businessman does not like to lose money.” Clark acknowledged Moses’ confession to dismembering Foster’s body but noted, “dismemberment does not prove him without a reasonable doubt of murder.”
The jury acquitted Moses of Foster’s murder, instead convicting him of concealment of a human corpse and criminal negligent homicide. For the two charges, Moses received a maximum sentence of 8 years in prison. His earliest release date is May 25, 2022.
Foster’s family was distressed by the acquittal verdict, with her sister reportedly running from the courtroom as she yelled, “Oh my God! It’s not right! That’s not right!”
Inmate Information. DIN 20R0140. Moses, Somorie. Department of Corrections and Community Supervision. Accessed: January 12, 2021. http://nysdoccslookup.doccs.ny.gov/GCA00P00/WIQ3/WINQ130
Goldberg, Noah. “Brooklyn man who admitted dismembering girlfriend sentenced to eight years behind bars.” Daily News. January 17, 2020. Accessed: January 12, 2021. https://www.nydailynews.com/new-york/nyc-crime/ny-somorie-moses-sentenced-eight-years-girlfriend-dismember-20200117-th6tyzhtkfbutkvuxjyuxvqoja-story.html
“NYC pimp who admitted to dismembering girlfriend, keeping head in freezer dodges murder charges.” Law Enforcement Today. November 28, 2019. Accessed: January 12, 2021. https://www.lawenforcementtoday.com/nyc-pimp-who-admitted-to-dismembering-girlfriend-keeping-head-in-his-freezer-dodges-murder-charges/
“Man who dismembered girlfriend and kept head in freezer avoids murder charge.” News.com.au. November 27, 2019. Accessed: January 12, 2021. https://www.news.com.au/world/north-america/man-who-dismembered-girlfriend-and-kept-head-in-freezer-avoids-murder-charge/news-story/f017f4c58f99b587b617ba62fe75b6da
Kriegstein, Brittany and Annese, John. “Brooklyn jury rejects murder charge against man who admitted dismembering girlfriend — but denied killing her.” Daily News. November 25, 2019. Accessed: January 12, 2021. https://www.nydailynews.com/new-york/nyc-crime/ny-somorie-moses-brooklyn-murder-dismemberment-trial-20191126-yrpknzwjpzhobhu5xjzo2kv54m-story.html
People v Moses. 2018 NY Slip Op 50328(U). Decided on March 14, 2018. Supreme Court, Kings County (archived: https://law.justia.com/cases/new-york/other-courts/2018/2018-ny-slip-op-50328-u.html)
Carrega-Woodby, Christina; Schrier, Adam; and Slattery, Denis. “Women beware: Slay vic’s kin warn as susp is charged.” Daily News [New York, New York]. January 27, 2017