ISLE OF WIGHT COUNTY, Va. (WAVY) — Eric Saub, the self-described con artist defending himself for an alleged murder, says he’s a liar but not a killer.
On Monday, the 32-year-old admitted to the jury to changing his story “four or five” times about the exact whereabouts of Jean Marie Smith in the days before her death.
Saub says he purposely mislead investigators to avoid self-incriminating himself on numerous financial crimes, not because he pulled the trigger on Smith.
Investigators say Smith’s body was found by a group of turkey hunters in the woods, near Hatcher’s Lane, covered with pine straw on April 17, 2015.
Investigators believe Saub shot and killed her two days prior due to cell phone records that show Saub and Smith in the woods together about 200 yards from where the Navy veteran’s body was found.
Saub has been convicted 12 times for fraud. He says he recruited Smith as a partner in stealing identities and cashing bad checks.
The prosecution, however, presented text messages in court from Smith to Saub telling him she was appalled at such activity.
Saub told the jury he has between $12-$13 million in assets, yet prosecutors defend he hardly had enough money to pay bills.
They say he set up bank accounts in Smith’s name and other family members’ without their consent using their social security numbers.
Saub testifies that Smith knew about the accounts.
Prosecutors say Saub’s DNA was found on the back of Smith’s shoes and on her ankles where they believe he pulled her through the woods a short distance to her final resting spot.
Saub defends his DNA was transferred because he washed Smith’s clothes — asking the jury to find him not guilty for a lack of evidence.
Investigators say they found a shovel, rake and other tools nearby.
Saub says he was in the woods with Smith to bury stolen silver. Investigators never found any signs of silver.
The jury, which includes eight women, will begin deliberations on Tuesday morning.
10 On Your Side’s Joe Fisher will be in the courtroom.