‘Garbage, filth, rot’: Records paint troubling picture of nurse who runs unregulated Castle Hills nursing home

Julie Foster, 62, given deferred adjudication after stealing from hospitalized vet, previously charged with causing injury to a disabled person

A twice-sanctioned nurse continues to operate an unregulated boarding home in Castle Hills despite two previous criminal cases against her in Bexar County involving people in her care, a KSAT 12 Defenders investigation reveals.

CASTLE HILLS, Texas – A twice-sanctioned nurse continues to operate an unregulated boarding home in Castle Hills despite two previous criminal cases against her in Bexar County involving people in her care, a KSAT 12 Defenders investigation reveals.

The woman at the center of the investigation is Julie Foster, who has been charged with causing injury to a disabled person and was sentenced to deferred adjudication after stealing from a hospitalized veteran. Public records and even Foster’s own comments to law enforcement paint a troubling picture about the lengths she’s gone to in order to continue collecting payments from people in her care.

‘Unsanitary conditions’ at 404 Antler Drive

Foster's home at 404 Antler Drive in Castle Hills. (KSAT)

Foster’s home at 404 Antler Drive has twice been targeted by Castle Hills code compliance officials after they received numerous complaints about living conditions inside the 2,800-square-foot residence.

In July 2017, fire personnel who responded to a call at the home noted that its condition inside “went beyond mere untidiness,” according to an administrative warrant signed weeks later to search the home.

The home’s interior “included garbage, filth, rot and unsanitary conditions,” the August 2017 warrant states.

A resident had previously told Castle Hills police that he was living with up to eight other people at the residence, which is owned by Foster, according to Bexar County appraisal records.

A second administrative warrant, carried out in 2018, noted that at times up to six “disabled persons” had been living at the residence and that Foster was operating an assisted living facility without any licensing to do so.

Castle Hills officials in October 2018 filed a lawsuit against Foster for building and safety code violations, including structures not being clear of accumulated rubbish and garbage.

The suit called for Foster to be given 60 days to improve the interior condition of her home.

READ NEXT: How boarding homes in Texas became unregulated and out-of-sight

Lack of regulation in Castle Hills

Castle Hills, unlike San Antonio, does not have a boarding home ordinance. While homeowners can be cited and even fined for city code violations, there is no formal structure in place to regulate residences housing the elderly or people living with a disability or mental illness.

Texas Health and Human Services Commission officials confirmed to the KSAT 12 Defenders earlier this year that there is no group home registered at Foster’s address. These types of licensed facilities and providers are regulated by HHSC.

“My belief is that if they are going to be taking care of people that we should be able to inspect the home for health and safety, like a business,” said Castle Hills Mayor JR Trevino.

He said Castle Hills’ city attorney has been tasked with looking into the possible creation of a boarding home ordinance there and that Trevino has been in touch with State Senator Jose Menendez about possible next steps.

“Not good. It’s deeply concerning,” said Trevino, when asked about what city officials have previously discovered inside the residence.

Castle Hills Mayor JR Trevino. (KSAT)

San Antonio’s ordinance, which has now been in place for nearly a decade, requires these types of homes within city limits to be issued a permit and lays out regulations that must be followed including the delivery of personal care services.

As of May 1, the city of San Antonio had 10 permitted boarding homes with a total of 124 residents, city records show.

“There’s a severe shortage of housing,” said Doug Beach, board president and executive director of the National Alliance on Mental Illness - San Antonio.

NAMI San Antonio provides mental health advocacy for San Antonio and surrounding counties and supports people living with a mental illness and families of people living with a mental illness.

Doug Beach, board president and executive director of the National Alliance on Mental Illness - San Antonio. (KSAT)

“People are honestly desperate for good places to live and they probably take some options that they might not take otherwise, like an unlicensed boarding home,” said Beach.

Terminally ill patient chose not to be released to Foster’s home

A terminally ill patient at Methodist Hospital Stone Oak declined to be released to Foster’s home April 12, a San Antonio Police Department incident report confirms.

Employees of a local hospice company showed up at the hospital around 9 p.m., with SAPD officers in tow, after the hospital declined to release the woman.

Hospital staff, according to the report, eventually provided the hospice employees and officers information that the woman was still in the right mental faculty to make her own medical decisions and had signed a form to stay in the hospital’s care.

The operator of the hospice company told the Defenders via telephone late last month that her company had no connection to Foster and had simply received a referral for hospice care from Methodist.

Methodist staff, who spoke with the Defenders on the condition of anonymity, said Foster also showed up at the hospital claiming to be the patient’s mother. Foster then told staff she was like a second mother to the woman before then stating that she had been delegated to make medical decisions on the woman’s behalf.

A Methodist spokeswoman did not respond to specific questions about the April 12 incident.

Reached for comment outside her Castle Hills home late last month, Foster said she had been the woman’s caregiver for several years and that the woman had lived with her.

Asked specifically about the Methodist Hospital Stone Oak incident, Foster said the woman had been “hijacked.” She declined to elaborate and said she would be more comfortable answering questions somewhere away from her home.

“She should be stopped.”

Jeanne Chamberlain, a retired U.S. Air Force major who suffered injuries related to her military duties, said she met Foster in 2017 while recovering at an area rehabilitation center.

“This woman, Julie Foster, showed up and said ‘well, I can help you. I’m a nurse and I’ll look after you,’” said Chamberlain, who added that Foster charged her over $1,000 a month in exchange for a place to stay as well as for providing her meals and staying on top of what medications she needed to take.

Chamberlain, who used a walker and a cane to move around at the time, said she was forced to live in a storage room with just enough space for a bed at the Antler Drive home.

Retired Air Force Major Jeanne Chamberlain. (KSAT)

She later found out that Foster, Foster’s mother, Foster’s pregnant daughter, Foster’s son-in-law and an employee named Julie Clark were also living at the residence.

Chamberlain said that Foster demanded she be present when a veteran affairs representative would visit Chamberlain each Wednesday. She added that Clark was tasked with dispensing her prescription medications, even though the Defenders can find no record that she has the proper medical license to do so.

Within months, Chamberlain’s condition deteriorated to the point that she was taken by ambulance to San Antonio’s Audie Murphy Memorial Veterans’ Hospital.

Clark’s conduct was not implicated in the deterioration of Chamberlain’s physical health, based on records reviewed by the Defenders.

Foster sentenced for stealing thousands from hospitalized veteran

While Chamberlain recovered in a medical ward in late 2017, according to court records, Foster and Clark stole multiple checks from her purse and forged Chamberlain’s signature on them.

Each theft amounted to thousands of dollars from the hospitalized veteran, records show.

In June 2019, Foster and Clark were indicted on multiple counts of felony theft by check under $30,000, records show.

Julie Foster and Julie Clark were indicted for felony theft as co-defendants in 2019. (KSAT)

Foster was granted deferred adjudication on both counts in October 2019 after pleading no contest, court records show.

She was ordered to pay $6,000 restitution to Chamberlain, as well as pay a $1,500 fine and $319 in court costs.

County officials confirm Foster was released from community supervision early and the case was dismissed in August 2020, after she completed the terms of her probation.

Clark, a felon with multiple theft convictions on her record prior to even caring for Chamberlain, was also granted deferred adjudication after pleading no contest in October 2019.

Clark, who was ordered to pay $6,850 in restitution to Chamberlain, is scheduled to remain on probation until late October, court records show.

Asked about Foster, Chamberlain told the Defenders, “If she did it to me she can probably do it to other people as well. And she should be stopped.”

Asked about Chamberlain late last month, Foster repeated Chamberlain’s name out loud and then scoffed.

“Foster became upset and stated that she did not care about these mentally retarded people”

This section contains information that may be disturbing for some readers.

In June 2014, SAPD officers responding to a disturbance call at a home in the 400 block of Marbella Vista encountered Foster, who “became upset and stated that she did not care about these mentally retarded people and that she wanted them out of the house,” a warrant for Foster’s arrest states.

Bexar County appraisal records confirm Foster owned the home at the time of the SAPD call.

The next day, according to the warrant, a second SAPD officer conducted a welfare check at the home and “observed a very strong foul odor emanating from the house.”

The officer found a woman slumped over while sitting at the kitchen table.

A 2018 arrest warrant for Foster details an incident that played out at her former residence in the Stone Oak area. (KSAT)

The woman, who the Defenders are not identifying, had human feces on her dress, legs and feet and all around her, the warrant states.

One of the woman’s legs had obvious signs of infection, “was swollen to an abnormal size and fluids and pus were oozing from the wound,” the warrant states.

Several flies were gathered on the woman’s open leg wound, the paperwork states.

“(Her) foot was in a bucket so that the drainage would go into the bucket and not onto the floor. The bottom of the bucket had so much pus and drainage in it that it covered the bottom portion of her foot,” according to the warrant.

The woman’s body temperature was 103 degrees and she informed the officer on scene that she was not mentally stable.

The woman was taken to a nearby hospital via ambulance and it was later determined that she had lower extremity trauma with cellulitis and cuts contaminated with stool, records show.

Officers also noted that the refrigerator inside the home was chained and padlocked, which prevented anyone from opening it without a key, the warrant states.

Foster later admitted to investigators that she would allow the woman to stay in her “feces soiled and urine-soaked clothes for as long as three months at a time,” according to the warrant.

When Foster was asked if she would help the woman with her medications, she replied, “Why would I help her? She wouldn’t listen to me,” according to the warrant.

Foster had been accepting $600 a month, through disability payments made to the woman, to care for her, and the woman had lived at Foster’s boarding homes over an extended period of time, charging records state.

Foster also told investigators she was moving her boarding homes outside San Antonio city limits “to escape permitting and inspection processes that take place in the city,” the warrant states.

Texas Attorney General investigators eventually issued a warrant for Foster’s arrest in March 2018 and she was charged with two counts of felony injury to a disabled person.

The Bexar County District Attorney’s Office, however, has no disposition information on the case and there are no public records available regarding the adjudication of the charges.

It’s possible Foster attempted to have the 2018 charge expunged from her record.

Foster agrees to be interviewed then changes her mind

“Let’s go to a park. Where can we go to a park?” suggested Foster, when reached for comment outside of her home late last month.

Foster and KSAT agreed to meet at a park adjacent to Castle Hills City Hall for an interview and drove to the location separately.

Once there, however, Foster quickly walked into city hall and beckoned Castle Hills police officers.

While Foster waited for officers in the lobby of the public building, she told the Defenders she was going to record a story on the news crew and that Chamberlain had caused her all kinds of trouble, including breaking her toe.

Foster said she changed her mind about being interviewed and then requested that two nearby Castle Hills police officers cite the KSAT reporter and photographer for criminal trespassing.

“Well, unfortunately Miss Julie, the sidewalk is public,” an officer told Foster, after she acknowledged that the news crews had stayed on her sidewalk while trying to talk to her outside her home.

Foster then repeatedly called the KSAT news crew “criminals.”

Regarding the Marbella Vista incident specifically, Foster said she was “crucified” even though other people, including paramedics and social workers “did nothing” for the victim.

Foster then left city hall without answering additional questions from the Defenders.

Foster twice sanctioned by the Texas Board of Nursing

Foster, according to state records, was issued a registered nurse’s license in March 1992.

She has twice been sanctioned by the Texas Board of Nursing, records released to the Defenders confirm.

In May 2009, Foster was found responsible for violations that included leaving her nursing assignment without notifying a supervisor.

The incident caused patients in the care of Foster to miss “skilled nursing visits.”

The 2009 sanction also states Foster failed to submit documentation for skilled nursing visits.

Foster told investigators she left town to care for her terminally ill brother and that she was “under a lot of stress as a result of his illness,” the paperwork states.

Foster was required to complete remedial education courses and pay a $500 fine, records show.

In January 2012, Foster was found responsible for violations that included initiating care for patients without a physician’s order and for falsifying home health admission notes for the same patients, state records show.

Foster was again ordered to complete remedial education courses and pay a $500 fine, records show.

The sanction paperwork also states that Foster was criminally charged with interfering with the duties of a public servant and pleaded no contest in a Bexar County misdemeanor court in August 2010.

Foster was given one year of community supervision, but like the check theft case, was released from probation early and got the case dismissed in December 2010 after completing the terms of her plea agreement, the paperwork states.

She complied with the sanctions handed down in both cases, records show.

Foster has no current disciplinary orders against her and remains licensed as a nurse in Texas, state records show.

Read more Defenders investigations:

About the Authors:

Emmy-award winning reporter Dillon Collier joined KSAT Investigates in September 2016. Dillon's investigative stories air weeknights on the Nightbeat and on the Six O'Clock News. Dillon is a two-time Houston Press Club Journalist of the Year and a Texas Associated Press Broadcasters Reporter of the Year.

Joshua Saunders is an Emmy award-winning photographer/editor who has worked in the San Antonio market for the past 20 years. Joshua works in the Defenders unit, covering crime and corruption throughout the city.