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Man charged in former Navy sailor’s murder ruled competent to stand trial

Posted at 1:00 PM, Nov 12, 2015
and last updated 2015-11-12 18:10:15-05

Isle of Wight County, Va. - The man accused of killing a former Navy sailor in Isle of Wight County was ruled competent to stand trial on Thursday.

Eric Saub also requested a new attorney while in court on November 12.  His public defender asked to be excused from the case because of "ethical reasons," but would not go into further detail.

Saub, 29, is charged with killing Jean Marie Smith. Her body was found shot to death in a wooded area in Isle of Wight County in April of 2015.

Eric Saub

Eric Saub

Saub is charged with murder, use of a firearm in the commission of a murder and possession of a firearm by a convicted felon. Now his lawyers are asking that his mental state be evaluated.

Detectives zeroed in on Saub when Smith was found dead. He had moved in with her and her grandmother in 2014.

Saub also faces numerous charges in Hampton. He's accused of ripping off Jean's grandmother by fraudulently opening up bank accounts and credit cards in her name.

A search warrant showed Saub deleted messages on his Facebook account and did a factory reset on his iPhone the day Jean Marie was murdered. Detectives were able to dig up a voicemail, however, through Saub’s iCloud. According to the search warrant, that message talks about Saub getting life insurance for one of his companies, that listed “Jean Smith” as the president.

Saub's preliminary hearing date will be set once he finds a new attorney.

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