Jury finds man guilty of stabbing wife 55 times

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LINCOLN COUNTY, MO (KTVI)-- A shocking verdict in the case against a man prosecutors say stabbed his wife 55 times.

42-year-old Betsy Faria was a breast cancer survivor who was brutally murdered December 27th, 2011.

Fox Files investigator Chris Hayes was the only reporter in the courtroom to witness the many bombshells leading to an emotional guilty verdict.

Paramedics had to carry out suspect Russell Faria`s mother, who fainted.  Another family member appeared to vomit after the verdict.

Family on both sides sobbed as they left the courtroom, their emotions coming from different places.  The now convict's family huddled together as they walked out to their cars.

The victim Betsy Faria`s sister described mixed emotions -- sadness for the Faria's, yet relief. Rodgers said, "Two years, almost two years we`ve been waiting for this verdict."

At about 4:30 p.m., Russell Faria was seconds away from hearing his fate.  Judge Chris Kunza Mennemeyer brought in the jury.  We had to leave the courtroom for the verdict, but had permission to shoot outside the glass doors when the Judge read "guilty" murder first. You could see the defense attorney react in disbelief.

The prosecution`s case was challenging.  Police found no blood on Russell Faria.  The defense showed Faria's cell phone seemed to confirm his alibi, that he was nowhere near the murder. And four different witnesses testified that Faria was with them on the night of December 27th, 2011.  Prosecutors never pinned down a time of death, but appeared to suggest Faria killed his wife right before calling 911. That theory then changed.

It would be an understatement to say we saw a surprise twist during closing arguments.  Lincoln County Prosecutor Leah Askey accused four alibi witnesses of conspiring inmurder.  It seemed to come out of nowhere when she told jurors that four different people, not counting the suspect, hatched an elaborate plot, then waited until the right time to strike.  Defense attorney Joel Schwartz just about jumped out of his shoes.  He explained later, "I was outraged. These were four innocent people who are not guilty of anything, they were accused of murder in that courtroom."

Schwartz then said this about the verdict, "Ridiculous, absolutely ridiculous. There`s not one shred of evidence, not one." Reporter Chris Hayes asked, "So what's next?" Schwartz, "We file the appealand we`ll do this again, I guarantee it." (Hayes) "What made the difference?" (Schwartz) "I can`t tell you. There wasn`t one shred of evidence pointing to his guilt, not one shred.  There was evidence pointing towards another, but the Court kept that out."

Prosecutor Askey said the jury heard the late Betsy Faria`s voice.  She said, "They were out for four and a half hoursand they deliberated a long time and I was pleased with the outcome and think that justice was served."

Minutes after the verdict, Russell Faria made the long walk back to the jail where he`s been told he`ll stay forever.

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Inside murder trial of man accused of stabbing wife 55 times

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7 comments

  • Carisa Barton

    Thank YOU CHRIS HAYES FOR covering this story and getting it out. RUSS FARIA is an INNOCENT MAN and that prosecutor and jury are way wrong and they need to focus on her FRIEND THAT SAW HER LAST. THIS IS THE CRAZIEST THING I HAVE EVER WITNESSED AND TO ACCUSE FOUR OTHERS OF MURDER AR WELL IN HER CLOSING ARGUMENT SHOULD CALL FOR A LAWSUIT ON HER. In the meantime LETS GET RUSS FREED WHERE HE SHOULD HAVE ALWAYS BEEN.

  • Me

    They can make up any crazy story they want but it still doesn’t change the facts and the evidence. The facts and the evidence clearly show Russ was with his friends during the hours of 6 to 9 that night in the O’Fallon/Lk. St. Louis area.

    That story Askey told in the closing arguments must’ve been a doozy–it somehow got jurors to disregard all reality.

  • rhonda

    Friend??? Pam hupp is in control of all ” proceeds ” was the last known person with betsy , was not at home when she indicated ( a liar) and apparently was not a suspect????? Need we say more?

  • Smitty

    You would think that after stabbing someone 55 times in the chest and neck, then immediately calling 911 (as the prosecution claimed), that at least some trace evidence of the victims blood would have been on the alleged perpetrator or their clothing. (It’s been reported that at the time the police and medics arrived, Mr. Faria wore the SAME clothing observed earlier in the day on a gas station surveillance footage.) First medic to respond stated that Mrs. Faria’s body was cold and rigid, (meaning death likely occurred 2-3 hours prior). Who was with her during that period of time? Perhaps I don’t have all the facts, but it certainly sounds like a reasonable doubt to me.

    • yodi-yo

      What I find strange is that he had no defense wounds upon him. You can see it in the old clip of him being released after questioning. he was wearing a homemade tye-dye white t-shirt; short sleeves. NO DEFENSE WOUNDS, not a scratch. Isn’t that odd? For a suspect to have stabbed someone so violently and not have a single wound on them?

      Also, if you watch those FBI profiling/murder mystery/Snapped type of shows, anybody could see: these are the characteristics of a WOMAN killer. A man would typically only stab someone 8 or 10 times; men burn up their adrenaline differently than females do. A WOMAN will go for the face and neck (a man goes for torso area). WOMEN are more fueled by their emotions than men are.

      This is all very strange to me…how nothing points to him, yet he was convicted. Very sad.

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