Northeast Times

Prostitute testifies

At first, the pimp with the nurs­ing school back­ground tried to re­sus­cit­ate the “John” as he lay un­re­spons­ive on the floor.

But when that failed, Keith “King” Tol­bert chopped up the body and tossed it in­to the nearest river, ac­cord­ing to one of two hook­ers who al­legedly took part in the botched rob­bery and murder of Somer­ton res­id­ent Fran­cis Za­r­zycki, 40.

Hav­ing agreed to co­oper­ate with pro­sec­utors, ad­mit­ted pros­ti­tute Stephanie “Cinder­ella” Foulke test­i­fied in de­tail about the Aug. 26 slay­ing dur­ing a pre­lim­in­ary hear­ing for Tol­bert and co-de­fend­ant An­gel “Laid Back” We­st­on last Wed­nes­day. Mu­ni­cip­al Court Judge Dav­id C. Shuter ordered Tol­bert and We­st­on to stand tri­al for second-de­gree murder.

Au­thor­it­ies claim that the killing oc­curred in­side Tol­bert’s apart­ment at 220 S. 11th St.

Foulke, 22, of Sec­ane, Delaware County, test­i­fied that she met Tol­bert, 34, and We­st­on, 21, dur­ing a party last sum­mer and began turn­ing tricks for Tol­bert.

On Aug. 26, Foulke said, Tol­bert called her to his apart­ment to meet a man for sex. We­st­on, of the 2000 block of E. Mon­mouth St. in Kens­ing­ton, also showed up. Tol­bert then re­vealed to the wo­men that Za­r­zycki, a reg­u­lar cus­tom­er, of­ten car­ried lots of cash and drugs and that they were go­ing to rob him, Foulke said.

When Za­r­zycki ar­rived, he seemed un­der the in­flu­ence of drugs, ac­cord­ing to Foulke.

“He was antsy, had large eyes, pu­pils dilated,” she said. “He was very jit­tery.”

After Za­r­zycki went back out­side to get more drugs, he re­turned to the apart­ment and sat down at a table with the wo­men. Tol­bert was alone in an­oth­er room. Za­r­zycki offered drugs to the wo­men, but We­st­on re­fused, Foulke said. As they con­tin­ued talk­ing, Tol­bert used the di­ver­sion to creep up be­hind Za­r­zycki and punch him.

Za­r­zycki fought back, but ended up face down on the floor with Tol­bert sit­ting on his back and the wo­men at­tempt­ing to tie him up, Foulke said. As Za­r­zycki screamed that he couldn’t breathe, Foulke grabbed a stun gun and used it on the vic­tim.

“I wanted him to stop scream­ing so I was Taser­ing him,” Foulke said.

Za­r­zycki then fell si­lent and “went limp,” she said.

Tol­bert ad­min­istered CPR for about five minutes and used a steth­o­scope to check for a heart­beat, but could not re­vive Za­r­zycki. After about 30 minutes, the wo­men de­par­ted, leav­ing Tol­bert alone with the vic­tim.

Foulke test­i­fied that Tol­bert later told her he had dis­membered Za­r­zycki and tossed his re­mains in a river. A boat­er found the vic­tim’s torso float­ing in the Schuylkill near Reed Street on Sept. 3. The body was wrapped in a plastic trash bag. The vic­tim’s head and limbs were not re­covered.

Tol­bert al­legedly con­tin­ued op­er­at­ing his pros­ti­tu­tion busi­ness as Za­r­zycki’s re­l­at­ives filed a miss­ing per­son’s re­port. The vic­tim’s per­son­al com­puter and phone re­cords led in­vest­ig­at­ors to the 11th Street apart­ment. Po­lice con­duc­ted a pros­ti­tu­tion sting at the apart­ment on Aug. 31 and ar­res­ted Tol­bert and We­st­on there. After Za­r­zycki’s re­mains sur­faced, au­thor­it­ies up­graded the charges to murder and ar­res­ted Foulke in Delaware County on Sept. 4.

Foulke has agreed to testi­fy against her co-de­fend­ants and plead guilty to rob­bery and con­spir­acy. In ex­change, the Dis­trict At­tor­ney’s Of­fice has agreed to re­com­mend a pris­on sen­tence of five to 10 years.

We­st­on’s de­fense at­tor­ney, Robert Dix­on, said that he and his cli­ent are also in dis­cus­sions with the DA about a guilty plea.

If con­victed of second-de­gree murder, Tol­bert and We­st­on would face man­dat­ory life in pris­on. Second-de­gree murder is a killing that oc­curs dur­ing the com­mis­sion of an­oth­er crime — a rob­bery in this case.

Tol­bert’s de­fense at­tor­ney, Mary Maran, chal­lenged the re­li­ab­il­ity of Foulke’s testi­mony. She poin­ted out sev­er­al dis­crep­an­cies in two sworn state­ments that Foulke gave to po­lice. Foulke ac­know­ledged that she changed parts of her story in her second po­lice in­ter­view. She fur­ther ad­mit­ted chan­ging her story again in court.

Ini­tially, both wo­men denied to po­lice that they con­spired to rob Za­r­zycki. But in their later state­ments to po­lice, they both ad­mit­ted that the rob­bery was pre-planned, Maran said.

Foulke, in her first state­ment to po­lice, said that Za­r­zycki be­came angered and grabbed We­st­on when the wo­man re­fused to do drugs with him in the apart­ment. In court, Foulke ad­mit­ted, “that part was false.”

Foulke, in her second state­ment to po­lice, said that We­st­on gave her $60 that had been taken from the vic­tim’s pock­ets. But in court, Foulke said she turned down the money be­cause she felt bad about the killing.

Foulke also con­ceded in court that she de­cided to co­oper­ate with au­thor­it­ies be­cause “hold­ing back wasn’t go­ing to help me.” ••

You can reach at wkenny@bsmphilly.com.

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