Cops Wrongly Claimed He Killed His Wife. Now They'll Pay

Russell Faria, to be awarded $2M, has a suspect in mind
By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 31, 2020 10:45 AM CDT
Cops Wrongly Claimed He Killed His Wife. Now They'll Pay
Pamela Hupp.   (St. Charles County, Missouri, Prosecuting Attorney's Office via AP, File)

A Missouri sheriff's department has reportedly reached a $2 million settlement with a man who spent three years in prison for his wife's murder before his conviction was overturned. An insurance company will cover the payment to a "thrilled" Russell Faria, according to his lawyers, one of whom said the settlement with three current and former investigators of the Lincoln County Sheriff's Office had been agreed to but not signed, per the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. The officers will reportedly not admit wrongdoing in the case, which saw Faria sentenced to life in prison over the 2011 stabbing of Elizabeth "Betsy" Faria at the couple's home. His conviction was overturned in 2013, partly because he'd been blocked from arguing that another person committed the crime. He was then found not guilty during a 2013 retrial, having spent 42 months in prison, his lawyers say.

His 2016 lawsuit claimed he was arrested despite four alibi witnesses, as well as receipts and video evidence showing where he'd been. He also accused police of fabricating evidence and failing to investigate Pamela Hupp, Betsy's friend and the last person to see her alive. Named beneficiary of Betsy's $150,000 life insurance policy days before the murder, Hupp denies wrongdoing, per the AP. But Faria claims she stabbed Betsy, who was dying of cancer, 55 times on Dec. 27, 2011. Hupp is now serving life in prison without parole for the fatal shooting of a mentally disabled man on Aug. 16, 2016. Hupp killed the 33-year-old at her O'Fallon home while on a 911 call, in which she claimed to be a kidnapping victim. Prosecutors, however, said Hupp posed as a TV producer while recruiting the man to help her reenact a 911 call, with the goal to distract from the murder investigation. (Read more wrongful conviction stories.)

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