The Seaside man accused of murdering his ex-wife and a male friend with an aluminum baseball bat earlier in the month is maintaining his innocence in court.

Marcus Foster, 50, pleaded not guilty to two charges of aggravated murder in the beating deaths of Laura Foster and Guy Phillips via video in Clatsop County Cirucuit Court Tuesday. The deaths happened in the house he shared with Laura Foster around May 3, Seaside Police said.

Deputy District Attorney Ron Brown said he was not surprised that Foster pleaded not guilty to the charges Tuesday. A grand jury indicted Foster on the charges of aggravated murder late last week.

The case still remains fresh, Brown said, and Foster’s legal team hasn’t seen the prosecution’s discovery for it.

“Nobody would plead in the arraignment,” Brown said. “It would expose him to the death penalty.”

With last week’s grand jury indictment, along with the plea, a long legal process begins in earnest. Foster has been assigned lead legal counsel Chris Burris, a public defender specializing in murder cases.

If convicted, Foster could face the death penalty, life in prison without the possibility of parole or life in prison with the possibility of parole after 30 years.

Seaside Police Chief Bob Gross said investigators continue to follow leads in the case to ensure “there are no surprises.”

Investigators are building background information on Foster, and they continue to talk to neighbors and acquaintances, Gross said. The police have not released a motive in the murders.

“Right now we’re tagging and bagging the evidence,” Gross said.

An early resolution conference has been scheduled for Foster for Sept. 13.

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