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article imageOp-Ed: Allegations of inappropriate affair in Russ Faria murder case Special

By Bruce Fischer     Oct 24, 2014 in Crime
Explosive allegations surfaced this week alleging that Lincoln County, Missouri, prosecutor, Leah Askey, was having an affair with one of the lead detectives in the Russ Faria murder case during the time of Faria’s arrest, trial, and conviction.
Russ Faria was convicted in Missouri in 2013 of murdering his terminally ill wife, Elizabeth “Betsy” Faria, in 2011. Faria was convicted despite the fact he had a rock-solid alibi. Four witnesses testified that Faria was with them watching movies at the time of the murder. Gas station security cameras and a fast food receipt also confirm Faria’s whereabouts that evening.
Mary Anderson and Michael Corbin were both guests on my Injustice Anywhere online radio program this week to discuss the Faria case. Anderson is Faria’s cousin and acts as a family spokesperson. Corbin is one of four friends of Faria that was shockingly implicated by Prosecutor Askey during her closing arguments at Faria’s trial. In an attempt to create doubt about Faria’s alibi, Askey told the jury that Faria and his friends had planned the murder of Betsy Faria for years, and that they all worked together to fabricate a false alibi for Faria. Oddly, none of Faria’s friends have ever been charged with a crime and Askey has never spoken outside of the courtroom about her wild accusations.
Corbin has been outspoken about the case, advocating for Faria’s release and challenging the prosecution to address the accusations leveled against him and his friends. Recently Corbin received information from an anonymous source claiming to have disparaging information about Prosecutor Askey. The source provided alleged emails from Detective Michael Lang to Prosecutor Leah Askey, discussing an affair between the two. In the emails, Lang repeatedly tells Askey that he loves her, and at one point he expresses that he would do anything for her. According to Anderson and Corbin, Lang was one of the lead detectives in the Faria case, and was also one of Faria’s arresting officers. Lang testified for the prosecution in court, taking questions under oath from his alleged lover.
Corbin told me that he verified the contents of the emails, stating: “I can’t say this is real. I can say that I have no reason not to believe it. And I did just earlier today talk at length with someone that was very close to Miss Askey for years, and this person verified the existence of the emails as well as the contents.” Corbin went on to say that his source confirmed that it was common knowledge in the Lincoln County Police Department that the affair did occur. The source also stated that Lang was removed from his position on the police force due to his affair with Askey. According to Anderson and Corbin, Faria’s attorney confirmed that the alleged affair was never disclosed to the court. If these allegations are true, it would have certainly been highly inappropriate for Lang to testify on behalf of the prosecution against Faria.
This latest revelation only works to add to the controversy surrounding this case. The motives of the judge have been called into question by Faria’s supporters as well. The Judge suppressed evidence about another possible suspect named Pam Hupp, a person that just happened to be the beneficiary of the victim’s life insurance policy. Hupp claims to have been a longtime friend of Betsy Faria, and she was sure to make herself known early on in the investigation. According to Hupp, the Farias had a rocky relationship, claiming that Betsy confided with her that her husband had been abusive. Hupp described a “death game,” where Russ Faria placed a pillow over his wife’s face to show her how it would feel to die. None of Hupp’s claims have been supported by anyone else in Betsy Faria’s life.
Hupp became the beneficiary of Betsy Faria’s life insurance policy just four days before her murder. Russ Faria was completely unaware of this change. According to Hupp, Betsy wanted to make sure her grown daughters received the life insurance payout and she did not trust her husband with the money.
Hupp’s actions shortly before the murder were overlooked by police. According to witness statements, Hupp showed up at Betsy’s chemotherapy treatment on the day of the murder insisting that she drive Betsy home. When Betsy assured her she already had a ride to her mother’s home, Hupp left only to show up later in the day at Betsy’s mother’s home, once again insisting that she drive Betsy home. Betsy accepted the ride on Hupp’s second attempt, making Hupp the last person to see Betsy Faria alive.
Hupp was never considered a suspect by police. In fact she was viewed by the police as a credible witness against Russ Faria from the start. The jury never heard any of the details about the life insurance policy or about Hupp’s insistence to drive Betsy home. Two jurors, Ken Masterson and Debbie Bray, have now come forward in the media asking for answers, wondering why they were not told about this important evidence.
Pam Hupp collected the life insurance policy shortly after Faria's trial, and to this day she has not given one dime to Betsy Faria’s two daughters. The daughters filed a lawsuit in April of this year claiming Hupp defrauded them out of $150,000 in life insurance.
Our organization, Injustice Anywhere, supports Russ Faria. We make no claims about the validity of the allegations of an affair between Prosecutor Askey and Detective Lang. We do feel this new-found information needs to be fully investigated. A man’s life is on the line.
This opinion article was written by an independent writer. The opinions and views expressed herein are those of the author and are not necessarily intended to reflect those of DigitalJournal.com
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