A 65-year-old man previously convicted of two murders has been charged in the death of his adult daughter whose body was found dismembered outside a Northwest Baltimore dumpster, Baltimore Police said Thursday.
Lawrence Banks, of the 4000 block of Clarks Lane, is charged with first-degree murder in the death of 43-year-old Dominique Foster. Her body was found in May inside a shopping cart but was missing her hands, feet, lower legs and head.
On Thursday, police said homicide detectives served him with formal charging documents at the city’s Central Booking and Intake Facility where Banks was being held awaiting trial on charges of illegally possessing a firearm and ammunition.
Family members have said in interviews that they have been fearful of him.
“It’s a blessing to take a monster off the street," said Willie Foster, Dominique Foster’s husband of 19 years, said about the arrest Thursday.
"He’s a modern day serial killer, but no one wants to come out and say it,” Foster said of Banks who has been previously convicted of two murders, including one of his son.
Banks did not have an attorney listed in online court records.
A statement released by police did not provide additional details about what prompted the additional charges.
In charging documents related to the firearms charge filed last month, police focused almost exclusively on his daughter’s death, though police had not charged him with her murder at the time.
Foster’s body was found May 12 wrapped up and placed inside a shopping cart at the Clarks Lane Garden Apartments. A nearby resident told responding officers she heard some arguing on the night of May 10.
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A security camera video from that day obtained by police showed a man with a limp in a white jacket and hoodie wheeling a shopping cart toward the lot where Foster was found.
Police used pictures of Foster’s tattoos to help identify her. They got a warrant to search Banks’ apartment, where, according to the charging documents, they found blood and other evidence. They also seized a .380 caliber handgun with five bullets in the magazine, according to the document.
Willie Foster said his wife was trying recently to reconnect with her father after returning to Baltimore. Foster and his wife moved to North Carolina 15 years ago, but in the past year his wife returned and was staying with her sister. Foster said his wife kept her father from him.
She told him she had suffered trauma as a child.
"She went through too much. Dominique knew if she left this world, it would be by her dad,” he said.
Much of the family was fearful or avoided him. Foster said he was concerned for other family members who remained in Baltimore since his wife’s death but before he was charged with murder.
“It gives me closure that Dominique did not die in vain,” he said of the arrest in her death. “It’s just a blessing that Baltimore actually did something. He did this. No one else did this."
Dominique’s daughter said she was also relieved to hear of the new charges.
“I’m very happy," said one of Foster’s daughters who did not want to be publicly identified, citing ongoing safety concerns. "I just hope he stays [behind bars]. I just want him to stay. I just hope this is it.”
Banks has previously served consecutive sentences and was released from prison for two homicides the same day in 1991.
He shot and killed a friend in Pasadena and then his own son in Baltimore, according to court records. Prosecutors said Banks was angry because his son and one of his daughters accused him of abusing them.
Banks was convicted of the murders and released from prison in 2002 after receiving “good time credits.”
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Court records show that in 1976, Banks was also sentenced to 15 years in prison for throwing a 7-month-old baby through a glass door during an argument with his wife, Vivian Banks. Shortly before that case went to trial Vivian Banks was found dead in an East Baltimore apartment. Her body was so decomposed that the medical examiner could not determine a cause of death.
No one has been charged in Vivian Banks’ death.
In 2004, he was charged with assault in Anne Arundel County for choking and threatening to kill his then wife, according to Department of Public Safety and Correctional Services spokesman Gerard Shields. He spent nine months in jail awaiting trial and then was found not guilty by a jury, he said.
In 2006, when Banks’ then-girlfriend’s daughter, Lisa Laverne Brown, filed a protective order, claiming she feared Banks, Brown and her daughter, Labria, were killed days later in Laurel.
Prince George's County police questioned Banks, and asked Banks' parole agent to find violations that could keep him behind bars as they built a case.
He was not charged in the killings, and the cases remain open.
But the Maryland parole commission returned Banks to prison to serve the remainder of his sentence, calling him a threat to others. He was released again in 2014.