TROY, MO (KTVI) – Former murder convict Russ Faria walked out of prison after more than three years. He bonded out of the Lincoln County jail Monday after learning he`ll get a new trial.
For the first time since his wife Betsy was stabbed to death in 2011, Russ Faria talked outside of a jail cell.
Faria didn`t know he was getting out today. Then he walked out to squeeze his relatives like never before.
He started by hugging his Mom, while seeming to cry and laugh at the same time. Faria said, “I was surprised. I knew people were trying to get me out, but I didn`t know it would be this soon. They came back and told me to pack my stuff so I kind of figured I was going. I was just trying to call my mom, ha.”
He`s out on a half a million dollar bond, put up by family members, including cousin Mary Anderson who put her house on the line. Faria walked onto a shuttle, donated by JED Transportation to keep his family together. They gathered at Turtle Creek Pub and Grill in O’Fallon, MO. Faria said he was excited to “get caught up with everyone, feel normal again. No bars or fences. I mean I think it`s still sinking in really at this point.”
Russ` wife Betsy died December 27th, 2011. The medical examiner found she was stabbed more than 50 times. FOX2 was the only media outlet to cover Faria’s trial. We exposed suppressed evidence regarding a friend of Betsy`s who benefitted from proceeds of a $150,000 life insurance policy. In February 2015, an appeals court ordered a hearing to consider a new trial. Then earlier this month a new judge ordered the new trial. Faria`s attorney Joel Schwartz will defend him again. This time Schwartz hopes the jury will hear the suppressed evidence, which we’ve exposed in our Fox Files reports over the last 18 months since Faria’s original trial.
Faria said, “I think it made a world of difference, especially your reports which I understand, being in Jeff City I didn`t get to see all the news here in St. Louis, but I understand you`ve been updating about once a month and I think that`s kept things in people`s minds and kept things on the forefront.”
Faria says he`s confident his new trial will be different. He said, “I mean the original judge recused herself, so we have a new judge and albeit I was only in the court room for a couple of hours with him he seemed to be fair, fair for both sides. So that`s all I ever wanted was a fair trial which I didn`t get the first time.”
Lincoln County Prosecutor Leah Wommack Askey didn’t respond to my request for a comment. Betsy Faria’s Mom told me last week she feels everyone has turned away from Betsy’s family and that Russ. Faria’s new trial is set to begin November 2nd.
Follow Chris Hayes on Twitter @ChrisHayesTV