fb pixel

Log In

Reset Password

After the Shootout

The sound of a horn, the flash of strobe lights and the crack of gunfire jolt Jennifer Fogleman out of her bedroom, where her two youngest boys are fast asleep.

Her 16-year-old daughter, Brittainy, is calling for her. Out the window, they see Anthony Fogleman's truck roaring toward their three-story log cabin. A police car is backing slowly down the long gravel driveway.

"Get down. Get away from the window," Jennifer says.

Jennifer sends Brittainy to watch over the boys, Dex, 2, Ford, 4, and Dakota, 14, while she seeks out her husband.

She finds him downstairs, clutching an assault rifle, peering anxiously out the kitchen window. He is shaking, crying, incoherent.

"They were shooting at me. They shot at me," Anthony whimpers.

Jennifer sees blood on his mouth. She takes the gun from his hands, removes the clip and begins feeling his body for wounds.

"Are you hurt? Who shot you?" she asks.

u u

One year later, Jennifer stands outside the locked and vacant cabin nestled on a wooded hill in rural Ruch, watching her youngest boys play in the snow. She remembers that stormy night, Feb. 20, 2007 — and all that came after.

She also remembers earlier times, better times.

u u

Jennifer and Anthony met online. They discovered shared passions for music, wild-colored hair and body art. They also loved the outdoors. Anthony, raised in rural Colorado, had a trust fund and was free to indulge in his interests. Jennifer found him to be caring, considerate, loving and generous. They married and began a family of their own.

"He made me feel safe," she said.

But their relationship became strained almost immediately after they left Los Angeles and moved to Jackson County in 2003. Things spiraled dangerously out of control by fall 2004. Jennifer sought a restraining order against Anthony that October, claiming the 6-foot-5-inch, 260-pound man threatened her and the children.

"There was a situation where I left and took the children," she said, adding later, "He's never hit me."

Anthony filed for divorce the following month. But the two sought counseling and reconciled in February 2005. Anthony was prescribed medication for anxiety and depression. Things were better for awhile.

"I didn't think there was any reason to worry," Jennifer said.

Harmony was short-lived, however. Anthony frequently disappeared on short errands and stayed away for hours, Jennifer said.

Anthony, the king of collectors — guns, guitars, cigars — began insisting everything Jennifer owned be kept in her bedroom.

"It was a mess," Jennifer said. "We had entirely too much stuff for any house."

Between the kids, the myriad family pets and the tension between the two parents, the home became a chaotic reflection of the Foglemans' inner turmoil. Jennifer and Anthony wound up sleeping in separate rooms with locks on the doors.

"We'd go for up to a week without talking to each other," Jennifer said.

Anthony was also feuding with Jacksonville police over a series of tickets he'd recently received. He flipped off an officer after losing a traffic court battle with the town's municipal judge.

The night the Fogleman family's world turned upside down, Anthony had left to get a pack of cigarettes in the late afternoon and returned after an evening spent in Medford dining, drinking, smoking cigars with friends. When he finally arrived home, he brought his anger toward police to his family's doorstep.

u u

On his way back to Ruch, Anthony rolled through a stop sign in Jacksonville. Sgt. Dan Moore attempted to pull him over by turning on his flashing lights. His siren did not work. Anthony did not pull over. Ten miles later, Moore was still tailing Anthony as the pair turned up the Foglemans' dark driveway.

Anthony suddenly stopped and sprang from his truck, screaming at Moore to "get the f—- off the property" and threatening to kill the officer. Moore fired his Taser, but the darts didn't imbed. Anthony pulled a handgun from his truck. Both men began firing. As the two circled, Moore retreated, seeking the shelter of some blackberry bushes. Anthony got into his truck and sped up the driveway.

When Jennifer found her husband in the kitchen, he did not appear injured other than a bloody lip. But he was not acting like himself. She did not know what was going on, but she knew one thing for certain: The police would be back.

"They aren't just going to leave and call it good," she told Anthony.

The pair called his mother, their attorney and a few close friends.

When police arrived, Jennifer was outside, waiting to intercede. Police officers and sheriff's deputies from Jackson, Josephine and Klamath counties had responded. Their weapons trained upon her, Jennifer circled slowly to show she was unarmed. She said she could get her husband to surrender peacefully.

"I'll talk him out. I can do it," she said.

On a portable phone, Jennifer told Anthony to have a glass of scotch, smoke a cigar — and then come out with his hands up. Over and over, Anthony asked Jennifer if that's what she wanted him to do.

"Yes. You have to come out. Now," she said.

Cigar still in hand, her husband walked down the driveway, eventually getting down on his knees. Four officers swarmed and handcuffed him, then dragged him into a police vehicle.

"You promised you wouldn't do that," Jennifer cried, upset her husband had been tackled in the mud.

Anthony kicked at the squad car's windows. Police used pepper spray to subdue him. He was taken to the Jackson County Jail and charged with multiple crimes, ranging from the attempted murder of a police officer to resisting arrest to drunken driving to child endangering.

Police converged on the Fogleman residence, first to check on the welfare of the children and then to look for Anthony's weapon.

Jennifer looked back toward the house and saw her children standing outside in the snow. Dex was wearing only a diaper and a jacket. She and the children were escorted back into the house. There were police in every room, she said.

"Get out. You can't search without a warrant. Show me your warrant," Jennifer told them.

While police obtained a search warrant, they placed Jennifer and her children in Brittainy's bedroom. During the search, police discovered more than 40 handguns, rifles and knives throughout the disordered and dirty house. One room was filled with cat feces. Police called the Department of Human Services.

Jennifer was placed under arrest and taken to jail. DHS workers informed Jennifer that her children would be taken into temporary custody by the state.

"Can I at least go see my children and tell them goodbye?" she asked. We'll tell them, the DHS workers replied.

They told Brittainy she and her siblings would be placed into foster care. Unaware her mother had been removed from the home, Brittainy asked to see her. Her request was denied. She tearfully agreed to leave with DHS workers — as long as she and her siblings could stay together. The last thing her stepfather had said to her was, "Watch out for my boys."

Brittainy later learned there was no home available for two young boys and two teenagers. She and Dakota were placed in juvenile detention, and Ford and Dex were sent together to a foster home. Her little brothers had to be pried from Brittainy's grasp.

u u

While Dakota went to live with his father in California, Brittainy was taken in by her school bus driver, Sherrie Frombach.

Frombach described the teens, whom she drove to school for years, as smart and well-adjusted.

"They're really neat kids. Brittainy has a good head on her shoulders. Dakota does too," she said, adding Jennifer was a good mother, in spite of her non-traditional looks. "Some people would be kinda worried with her weird-colored hair. But when you get to know her, you'd see she wasn't a weirdo."

u u

Both Jennifer and Anthony's cases were assigned to Jackson County Deputy District Attorney Karen Loomis. Jennifer was charged with four counts of recklessly endangering another person and two counts of criminal mistreatment and was released on bail. After a month, she was reunited with her children in a house she owned in Medford, awaiting her husband's trial. Anthony waited alone in the Ruch home after being released from jail on $2 million bail. The two were not allowed to contact one another.

Anthony insisted he didn't remember much of that night. Not the shooting. Not the arrest. Just a few fleeting images.

He drove through Jacksonville displaying a series of anti-government bumper stickers on his truck. One read, "Bad Cop. Go F—- Yourself." Another read, "Kill Loomis." Loomis removed herself from the case.

"It seemed Anthony had some kind of fixation on me. It wasn't a very healthy thing to be in," said Loomis.

Her co-worker, Senior Deputy District Attorney Tim Barnack, took over the case against Anthony.

"I saw the sticker," said Barnack. "Karen would have done the same for me."

Before the trial, Jennifer and Anthony violated the no-contact order and met for breakfast one morning after church. Anthony was sent back to jail until his trial in December 2007.

Brittainy spoke softly while testifying about that night during the trial. Anthony had armed himself with another assault rifle while Jennifer was outside with the police. Brittainy had pleaded with him to give her the weapon. He did.

Barnack considered the teenager heroic for getting the assault weapon away from Anthony.

"The defendant is lucky he's alive," said Barnack. "The person who really saved his life was his daughter."

Anthony was convicted on all charges — except for the ones related to the children, which Barnack dropped "for lack of evidence." Anthony was sentenced to 10 years in prison.

On Jan. 24, Loomis agreed to a plea bargain for Jennifer — one misdemeanor count of criminal mistreatment. The other charges were dropped. Jennifer received a suspended sentence and probation.

Jennifer wondered why Loomis didn't follow Barnack's lead and drop all the child-related charges against her. Was it out of payback for violating the no-contact order, or because of what her husband did, or because society tends to hold mothers more accountable for their children than they do fathers?

"I'd like to know why," Jennifer said.

None of the above, according to Loomis.

"It was just the condition of the house," Loomis said. "And mostly the fact that guns and knives were left in an area near the children. It was a tragedy waiting to happen."

Loomis praised Jennifer for "diffusing a very dangerous situation."

"I give her a lot of credit for that. It could have been a really ugly shoot-out," Loomis said.

u u

Back at the log home on Friday, Jennifer and her children cannot go inside. Not today. Maybe never. The locks have been changed. The last time she visited their former home, Jennifer found a threatening, anonymous note on the door. There was a "surprise" waiting inside, it promised.

"It was held in place with a knife. Needless to say, we didn't go in," she says.

Jennifer expresses compassion for Sgt. Moore and his family. Moore, who was shaken but uninjured after the shoot-out, had tried to comfort Jennifer that night. The whole ordeal must have been terrifying for them, she says.

"My family has been ripped apart, too," she says, adding she and Anthony likely will divorce.

"But that is a battle for another day," she says with a sigh.

First they have to heal. Brittainy still has nightmares, Dakota misses his home in the woods and the little boys wonder where their dad has gone. Jennifer has not yet told them their father will be away in prison for a decade. She is waiting to find the right time — and the right words.

"What happened that night, and what happened afterwards, changed all our lives. Probably forever," Jennifer says.

Reach reporter Sanne Specht at 776-4497 or e-mail sspecht@mailtribune.com.

Jennifer Fogleman stands outside the Ruch cabin where she and her family lived before her husband, Anthony Fogleman, engaged in a shoot-out with a Jacksonville police officer. - Jim Craven