- Associated Press - Sunday, June 7, 2015

TROY, Mo. (AP) - A judge has ordered a new trial for a Missouri man convicted in the death of his wife, saying new evidence could have affected the jury’s decision.

St. Louis Circuit Judge Steven Ohmer ordered the new trial Friday for Russell Faria, who was convicted of first-degree murder in 2013 in the 2011 stabbing death of his wife, Betsy Faria. Russell Faria has been serving a life sentence without parole.

Ohmer is also scheduled to preside at the new trial, which has been set for Nov. 2, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported (http://bit.ly/1MtVVuP ).

Faria has long argued that he was miles away when his wife died.

“We look forward to our day in court - with all the evidence coming in - and we expect justice to prevail,” defense lawyer Joel Schwartz said.

Prosecutor Leah Askey, who argued Friday against a new trial, declined comment.

The Missouri Court of Appeals in February sent the case back to the trial court for a hearing on a retrial motion after ruling that newly discovered evidence could produce a different outcome at a new trial. The order from the appeals panel focused on how a change in actions and statements of a friend of the victim would have affected the jurors’ decision.

In order to grant a new trial, Ohmer had to find the evidence was new to Faria, that it couldn’t have been uncovered by the defense before trial and that it was significant enough that jurors might have decided differently had they known about it.

He also found that it would be admissible at trial.

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

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