Inside murder trial of man accused of stabbing wife 55 times

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TROY, MO (KTVI)--The Fox Files has an exclusive report on a murder trial involving a man accused of stabbing his wife 55 times.  Police found a steak knife in the victim`s neck and arm slices down to the bone.  Family members hope to get answers from a two year long mystery.

42-year-old Betsy Faria died two days after Christmas, 2011.  it was a horrific crime in Troy, Missouri.  Of the 55 stab wounds, most appear to have penetrated after she died, including gashes that nearly severed her arms.  The Lincoln County Sheriff`s Office arrested her husband Russ Faria.  Now that the case has gone to a jury, we`ve learned of the complicated web that`s led to this trial.

Prosecutors are painting Russell Faria as a frightening father who screamed and cussed at his wife and kids.  Then on December 27th of 2011, they say he called 911 crying that his wife killed herself, when the scene clearly showed murder.

It`s a challenging case for Lincoln County Prosecutor Leah Askey. Police found no blood on Russ Faria.  Defense Attorney Joel Schwartz points out Faria was even captured on camera at a gas station before the murder, wearing the same clothing.

Prosecutors also have not given a potential time of death, but they highlight a pair of bloody slippers belonging to the husband.

Here`s a timeline that begins a few hours before the 911 call.

6:30 p.m. December 27th: Betsy Faria gets a ride home from a friend.  They leave from O`Fallon MO, for Betsy`s home in Troy.  Betsy`s friend Pam Hupp drives her.  She`s the last person to admit seeing Betsy alive.

7 p.m. Betsy`s daughter Leah calls Mom to say she`ll need her to answer her phone in 30 minutes, to authorize a cell phone purchase.

A few minutes later Pam Hupp and Betsy Faria arrive at the Betsy`s home in Troy.  Hupp says the door was unlocked and the lights out.

7:04 Hupp calls to tell her husband they're at Betsy's and then stays for about 20 minutes.  A cell phone ping shows Hupp still in the area at 7:27 p.m.

Meanwhiledaughter is calling Mom and getting no answer.  1st at 7:21.  Then no answer at 7:26 and again at 7:30 - no answer.

Husband Russ Faria is reportedly with friends this entire time, in Lake St. Louis.  Four different friends confirm he was with them from 6 - 9 p.m.  Faria stops at an Arby`s drive through.  A receipt shows 9:09 p.m.  Then he makes the approximate 25-30 minute drive home.

9:40, Russ Faria calls 911 to report a suicide.

10 minutes later a medic describes the body as cold and stiff.

The evidence is tough for Betsy`s family to sit through.  But they`re able, because as sister Mary Rodgers says, Betsy`s bright moments outshine the current horror.   Betsy's Mom, Janet Meyer said, "She was a very positive person.  Everybody loved her.  Everybody at the funeral home, even total strangers, told me how great she was, always put them first, put everybody first besides herself."

Prosecutors aren`t clear about when they believe Russ Faria killed his wife, but they seem to be leaning towards a time before he visited Arby`s. But they'll have to attack his alibi witnesses as liars and a defense expert who located Faria's cell phone in the area of the home at that time.

Betsy's friend, Pam, is not a suspect and was never reportedly a suspect.  It appears Russ Faria has been the only suspect from the beginning.

The case may go to the jury Thursday.

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