Man defending himself in murder trial pokes holes in IOW prosecution’s case


ISLE OF WIGHT COUNTY, Va. (WAVY) — Eric Saub asked the judge to strike all the evidence against him on Thursday, calling the Commonwealth’s case “speculation.”

The judge denied Saub’s motion. For nearly three hours, the murder suspect tried to discredit the evidence presented in court since Monday. 

Saub, who is defending himself at trial, says his relationship with Jean Marie Smith was “civil” and not romantic. He pointed to text messages from Smith saying he was one of the only people she could trust. 

Prosecutors say Saub killed Smith, a Navy veteran, on April 15, 2015, within hours of their return from Florida. Investigators say they made two trips to Florida in April.

Two days later, investigators say Smith’s body was found by hunters covered with pine straws and a bullet to her head. 

On Thursday, an investigator testified that a K-9 alerted them to possible gun powder on a tree near Smith’s body. Saub is believed to have shot Smith by a tree before dragging her to the location where she was found, according to the investigator, who says no blood was found in the area where she was allegedly dragged. 

Tire marks in the mud near the body match up to Saub’s SUV, according to expert testimony. However, the tire marks are consistent with tires on numerous different vehicles, the expert said.

Saub’s DNA was found on Smith’s clothes but it’s possible his DNA could have been transferred through the laundry and being in close contact during their trips, according to another expert.

Prosecutors presented cell phone records that show Saub and Smith traveling together from Florida to the Hampton Roads area. Saub pointed out the records do not show him in the woods and prosecutors presented no concrete evidence of him being there. 

The Isle of Wight County Sheriff’s Office never recovered a murder weapon and investigators testified to never finding any bullet casings. 

10 On Your Side will be back in the courtroom on Friday. Saub is expected to take the stand. 

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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