(KTVI) – Russ Faria said, ‘I`m truly free right now. There is a lot of stress that I had (after my release from prison) and carried with me and even had more stress all the way up until Friday afternoon. That`s gone.’
Judge Steven Ohmer acquitted Russ Faria Friday afternoon in a retrial. A jury in 2013 convicted Faria in the murder of his wife Betsy, who was stabbed to death in 2011. A Court of Appeals opened the door for the new trial after a series of reports exposing suppressed evidence, by a FOX 2 News/St. Louis Post-Dispatch investigation.
Faria said, ‘I lost my wife. Nothing can bring that back. I lost four years of my life. Nothing can bring that back, but… I really hope that somebody follows up on the investigation and that we get justice.’
Faria`s attorneys, Joel Schwartz and Nate Swanson, raised questions about Pam Hupp, who drove Betsy home the night of the murder and benefitted from a $150,000 life insurance policy. Yet investigators still refused to look at anyone other than Russ.
Faria said, ‘That does kind of surprise me. I mean that really reflects on the people that were doing the investigation. To me it tells me they weren`t very professional. I`m a computer geek by trade, have been for a long time, so I`m a very logical person. When I find a problem I try to find every solution for that problem. I would think it would happen the same way with an investigation. You would find every possible lead and every possible outcome.’
Faria`s friend Marshall Bach said investigators even pressured him to tell a story that wasn`t true. On the stand at the re-trial Bach said he felt threatened and that police offered him immunity. He said he responded ‘immunity from what?’ He and three other friends never backed down from saying they were with Russ Faria during the time of the murder.
Then it came out in trial that two investigators shared a theory with Pam Hupp, who then reportedly changed her story again during her 13th interview with police.
Faria added, ‘That was pretty shocking. They would go back that many times, but not follow-up on any of her family or friends or anything to corroborate anything she said.’
Faria says he fears the longer police wait, the harder it will be for them to solve his wife`s murder.