- Associated Press - Friday, April 25, 2014

TROY, Mo. (AP) - The daughters of a Lincoln Country woman stabbed to death in her home are suing one of their late mother’s best friends over life insurance payments.

The St. Louis Post-Dispatch (bit.ly/1hw35wV ) reported Friday that Betsy Faria changed the insurance policy’s beneficiary days before her 2011 death from her husband to Pamela Hupp. Russell Faria was convicted of first-degree murder in his wife’s death and sentenced to life in prison without parole. He is appealing the conviction and argued at trial that he was watching movies with friends when his wife was killed.

Faria’s adult daughters say their mom’s friend defrauded them out of $150,000 in life insurance. Hupp declined a Post-Dispatch interview request.

Betsy Faria was found stabbed to death more than 50 times, two days after Christmas. She was battling terminal liver cancer at the time.

The suit was filed in early April in St. Charles County, where Leah and Maria Day live. The daughters allege fraud, unjust enrichment and a breach of Hupp’s duty as a trustee.

Russell Faria’s lawyer has said that prosecutors improperly introduced evidence in his murder trial, and argued their theory of the murder to jurors without introducing evidence to back it up. Some of the husband’s supporters have suggested that police instead look at Hupp as a suspect, with the life insurance settlement as a motive. Hupp, who had given her friend a ride the day she died and was the last person to see her alive, has denied any involvement in Betsy Faria’s death.

Three days before she was slain, Betsy Faria changed the beneficiary on a $150,000 life insurance policy from her husband to Hupp. Russell Faria remained the beneficiary on a $100,000 policy.

Hupp told detectives the change was Betsy Faria’s idea, as she planned to leave her husband and did not trust most other family members to manage the cash she intended to benefit her daughters.

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Information from: St. Louis Post-Dispatch, http://www.stltoday.com

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