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Key murder case witness admits she lied about life insurance money

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ST. CHARLES, MO (KTVI) - The admission came out in new testimony from a civil trial involving Pam Hupp.  A St. Charles County Judge will decide a lawsuit brought by Betsy Faria's daughters to get their mom's $150,000 in life insurance proceeds.  Betsy signed over the policy to Pam Hupp just days before she was murdered.

Hupp often interrupted plaintiff’s attorney Chris Roberts, whose co-counsel with attorney David Butsch.  At one point Roberts pointed out what Hupp said at the first criminal trial involving the murder of Betsy Faria, saying, “(Betsy’s) purpose was try to make sure that it got to her girls.”

Hupp said, “Whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa.”  Roberts asked, “What was your answer?”  Hupp flailed her arms and continued, “Whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa.”  It continued until Roberts said, “I would direct the court… Hupp interrupted, “I don`t know what you`re talking about.  This has nothing to do with me drawing up a trust.”

She was talking about the life insurance of Betsy Faria, found dead December 27th 2011 in her Lincoln County home.  She was stabbed 55 times with a steak knife left in her neck.  Four days before her murder, Betsy signed over her life insurance policy to friend Pam Hupp.

Attorneys for Betsy's daughters Leah and Mariah said Hupp repeatedly told police that Betsy signed over her policy to make sure her daughters were taken care of, since she was dying of cancer.   The attorneys showed a video police interview example in which a Sgt. told Hupp, “The insurance policy, huge in this case…what you originally told investigators is she wanted you to do this to take care of it to make sure the kids are taken care of.”

Hupp said she did not agree with the Sgt. Detective despite the fact she was nodding.  She explained, “I`m not saying yes, yes you`re right.  I`m acknowledging him as a person speaking with me.  I`m in sales so when people talk to me I acknowledge them every time I`m talking to them.”

The daughters’ attorney Roberts said they couldn`t keep track of how many times Hupp changed her story, including one time when she told Betsy`s family she gave all of the money to charity.

Roberts asked, “Is it correct that you lied to (Betsy’s sister) Julie Swaney about what you were going to do with those life insurance proceeds?”

Hupp answered, “Yes.”

Roberts followed up, “Did you lie to anybody else that you`ve spoken to about what you were going to do with these life insurance proceeds?”

Hupp said, “Possibly.”

Roberts: “Who else may you have lied to?”

Hupp: “Anybody who would bug me and bug me and bug me and bug me.”

Roberts: “Did the detectives bug you and bug you?”

Hupp: “Yeah.”

Roberts: “So you might have lied to them?”

Hupp: “No they didn`t bug me about the proceeds.  That wasn`t` their focus.”

Their focus appeared to be convicting Russ Faria, who was acquitted after a second trial.

Before that re-trial, Pam Hupp said she told Lincoln County Prosecutor Leah Askey that she still had Betsy`s life insurance proceeds and that she showed it to Askey.  Hupp said it was cash she brought in a bag.  The claim seemed so unbelievable that the daughters’ attorney had to ask again.

Hupp answered in frustration, “What did I just say.  I had a sack of cash.  Am I not clear?”

Roberts: “So you brought a sack of cash and showed Ms. Askey that you had $150,000.  Is that your testimony here?”

Hupp: “How many times do you want me to say it?”

Leah Askey testified to the same story. Attorney Roberts asked, “You saw that bag of money?”

Askey said, “I did.”

Roberts: “And did she say there was a $150,000 in this bag?”

Askey: “I don`t know that she said specifically how much there was, but she had a bag of money.”

Attorney Roberts asked what`s happened to that cash since.  He asked, “You still have the life insurance proceeds?”

Hupp said, “No.”

Roberts, “Where are they?”

Hupp, “I bought in November; I used that money to buy a house on the Troy courthouse steps.”

Hupp continued, “It was my money, my personal money in my checking account I still had $150,000 yeah.”

The St. Charles County Judge made it clear the difficulty of this decision as he said the plaintiffs are asking him to completely disregard a signed beneficiary form.  He will likely decide within the next few weeks.

Follow Fox 2’s Chris Hayes on Twitter @ChrisHayesTV