A life out of control: Judge details what went wrong with Eugene Foley

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A life out of control: Judge details what went wrong with Eugene Foley

On a foggy January morning in 2015, the police looked over a cliff at the Cape St. Mary's bird sanctuary to see Eugene Foley looking up at them giving them the finger.

Foley's red Hyundai Santa Fe was a crumbled heap far below him. Dressed in a T-shirt, Foley was slumped over, shivering, bleeding from his forehead. 

They called for Foley to crawl back up. He couldn't. It took several hours to bring him up on a backboard.

Foley's life had become a mess, and it appeared he wanted to end it.

These details are contained in a decision released this week by Supreme Court Justice Garrett Handrigan, who found Eugene not guilty of attempted murder, but convicted him of aggravated assault..

They tell of the destructive, dysfunctional relationship between Eugene Foley, 48, and his younger brother, Glen, as well as what had been going on in Eugene's life.

Earlier that morning, Eugene had gone to his brother's house in St. Bride's, stabbed Glen seven times, and left him cut, slashed and bleeding.

Glen testified that he thought Eugene was going to kill him. Glen's three-year-old son witnessed what had happened. 

​In his decision, Handrigan wrote: "That morning, Eugene embarked on a path of retribution towards those whom he believed had hurt him."

Handrigan says that Eugene had written a suicide note saying goodbye to his daughter, and blaming his former girlfriend and his former wife for his troubles.

Eugene Foley had testified that his girlfriend had broken up with him a day or two prior to the stabbing.

He had been working as a mechanic in St. Bride's making $16 an hour, but because of child support, half his wages were being garnished.

His ex-wife had called him a few weeks prior and wanted to know how he "could sleep at night" when he was $30K behind in support payments.

And it continues. He was two months behind on his mortgage.

Eugene had even been upset that his daughter failed to acknowledge his birthday — December 25 — on Facebook.

School on lockdown

Just minutes before going to his brother's house, Eugene called his former wife.

"She says he was very upset with her, and says she ruined his life and caused all his troubles," writes Handrigan.

Eugene's former wife says he threatened to kill himself. And that she became concerned for her safety and her daughter's.

She called Eugene's father; called the RCMP in Placentia, and then went to her daughter's school in Mount Pearl to tell the principal what was going on.

The school was put into lockdown.

Handrigan notes several times the longstanding animosity between Eugene and Glen.

But in finding Eugene not guilty of attempted murder, he writes: "Glen was bleeding so heavily and in such great distress...Eugene could have killed him if he wanted to...yet he fled the area."

And Handrigan notes that Eugene stopped at a neighbour's and asked him to call an ambulance for Glen. 

"He could have passed on an ambulance and left Glen to his fate," says Handrigan.

'Wanted to clean it up before the cops arrived'

While Handrigan doesn't pass comment, he felt it worth mentioning the following testimony from Glen Foley about his father's behaviour that morning.

"Glen says his father 'never even asked how I was doing.' He says his father 'wanted to clean it up before the cops arrived' and just stepped over him to go inside to get a mop and bucket to do it." 

The stabbing had taken place outside of Glen Foley's house.

A sentencing hearing for Eugene Foley is set for April 17. The maximum sentence for aggravated assault is 14 years in prison.