Fox Files reveals more secret evidence in stabbing murder

FOX Files
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(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.

Court Document

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About the FOX Files

The Fox Files are groundbreaking investigations you won’t see anywhere else. The series is well known for breaking the Pam Hupp story nationally. The reports that led to the exoneration of Russ Faria. But, it is far from the only time in which our investigations led to overturned convictions and freedom for the wrongfully accused. The Fox Files investigations do not fit into just one category, other than the fact our reports shine a light on issues and corruption in ways you won’t see anywhere else.

You won’t know what to expect as our reports often take twists that surprise even Fox Files investigator Chris Hayes.

“You never know where the truth will lead and you have to keep searching for it, even when you think you might be done,” Hayes said.

From getting arrested for trying to cover a public meeting, to getting law enforcement involved in his report about a daycare fight club, the Fox Files has been at the forefront of breaking news investigations in the St. Louis area.

It doesn’t stop just in St. Louis. The Pam Hupp/Russ Faria story took him to Lincoln County. Fox 2 was the first to report, nationally, on the synthetic drug epidemic when it began in St. Charles County, MO. In St. Louis County, our Fox Files reporting led to the dismantling of some police departments, including the departments of Uplands Park and Jennings. And in the City of St. Louis, our investigations led to swift government actions, such as our report that led to the Governor’s ordered shut down of a daycare.

Our reporting in St. Louis also led to former Missouri Governor Eric Greitens’ exclusive Fox Files interviews involving his court fight to oust the chief prosecutor while attempting to prove that political corruption led to an illegal overturning of a state election.

“It’s not always bad news,” Hayes said about a recent victory for a restaurant in his coverage of a St. Clair County Illinois issue. A Fox Files report, exposing a health department’s mistake over the COVID-19 pandemic, led to an overturning of a decision, allowing the business to open for limited inside dining.

Another investigation took us to Madison County, where prosecutors praised Fox 2’s coverage while shutting down an illegal synthetic drug business – and to Monroe County, where we uncovered key evidence in the Chris Coleman murder trial.

Even the national media, continues reaching out to local affiliate Fox 2 KTVI and the Fox Files, for its work on cases that are important to St. Louis. When you see a network television’s coverage of St. Louis, you’ll often see that they gathered information that was first uncovered right here.

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