(KTVI)– More secret evidence is coming to light after a jury convicted a man for stabbing his wife 55 times. It’s evidence the jury did not hear. The evidence is now being revealed by the convicted man’s attorney. Defense Attorney Joel Schwartz filed an 11 page motion for a new trial, hoping to get the suppressed evidence before another another jury soon.
Schwartz said, “100%, in my mind, the wrong person is in jail.”
A Lincoln County jury convicted Russell Faria for stabbing his wife Betsy Faria 55 times. She died in her Troy, Missouri home two days after Christmas 2011.
Schwartz said, “In 25 years, I’ve never seen a prosecution like this.”
Schwartz said prosecutors would never pin down a time of death. He added, “It’s clear, in the State’s case and the closing argument of the State, that everything still remains a guess and simply remains a guess because it’s virtually impossible for him to have done this.”
Russ Faria called 911 at about 9:40 the night of the murder. He claimed he’d just returned home from his friends’ house in Lake Saint Louis. During the trial, prosecutors appeared to leaning towards accusing Russ of killing his wife right before he called 911. Then closing arguments brought a twist.
Schwartz said, “It was a complete surprise to us because none of it was in evidence, none of it was ever disclosed and none of it was ever supported by any shred of evidence at all.”
The State alleged that Russ killed his wife an hour or two earlieR, during the time four witnesses testified he was with them in Lake Saint Louis. Russ’ cell phone also pinged in the area of his alibi, during the time prosecutors say he killed his wife. Schwartz cannot explain the jury’s decision to convict but thinks it’s partly because jurors were not allowed to hear other evidence, involving the last person reported to see Betsy Faria alive, Pam Hupp.
The jury was not allowed to hear that Hupp currently controls the deceased Faria’s life insurance proceeds.
The jury was prohibited from hearing court testimony, that Hupp was still in the area of the murder, when she told police she was home. Hupp’s cell phone reportedly pinged there at 7:27 the night of the murder. Meanwhile Betsy failed to pick up important phone calls she was expecting from her daughter at 7:21, then again at 7:26. Betsy failed to pick up again at 7:30.
Attorney Schwartz noted jurors did not hear about Hupp’s “glaring changes and inconsistencies” in the court record, like when Hupp first “told police that she had not gone into the house, and then stated that she had gone into the house, specifically the living room and the bedroom” (rooms where police found murder evidence).
Also in the Court record “Ms. Hupp told the officers that when she left, ms Faria was curled up on the couch…” then reportedly amended here statement saying she, “last saw Ms. Faria waving from the front door.”
Lincoln County Prosecutor Leah Askey was out of the office today, but told me by phone that there was a ton of evidence she could not use in Court and that she wouldn’t have tried this case if she didn’t believe Faria is guilty. She also pointed out that the Missouri Attorney General joined her in prosecuting the case.
Pam Hupp did not return a message I left for her. During the first day of trial, she said she might grant me an interview, but did not show up for the remaining days of trial.
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