ISLE OF WIGHT COUNTY, Va. – A jury has found Eric Saub guilty of killing his former roommate, former Navy Sailor Jean Marie Smith, in 2015.
Sentencing began Wednesday after the verdict came down. A jury suggested a 33 year sentence in the case–30 years for the murder charge and three for a related gun charge. He will be back in court in July for official sentencing.
Saub was representing himself during the trial after previously deciding he no longer wanted counsel to represent him.
He was found guilty of second degree murder, use of a firearm in the commission of a murder and his possession of a firearm by a convicted felon charge was nolle prossed.
Saub was 29-years-old when he was charged with killing Smith in 2015. A hunter had come across Smith’s body on Hatchers Lane and investigators determined she had been killed by a single gunshot wound to the back of the head.
A few days later, her former roommate, Saub, was arrested on unrelated charges and was questioned by the Isle of Wight County Sheriff’s Office, where he admitted to being one of the last people to see Smith.
Saub was listed as the murder suspect and was arrested a few days later for those charges. He has been behind bars ever since, accused of not only killing the young Navy veteran but also creating fraudulent accounts and stealing from the victim and the victim’s grandmother.
In court prosecutors pointed out the cell communication Saub and Smith had leading up to the day investigators believed she was killed. They had expert witnesses testify that the two cell phones sent out pings from the body site before Smith’s phone was cut off.
News 3 knows Saub was living with Smith’s grandmother as a tenant while Smith was living there, but she moved out of the house before the crime.
The victim’s mother has been inside the courthouse and tells News 3 the months leading up to the trial have been very hard.
Saub took the stand during the trial to testify. The jury deliberated for about two days.
After returning their verdict of guilty on all charges, victims took the stand to give statements about the impact Smith’s death has had on them. Saub again took the stand and said “Jean Marie’s blood is not on my hands.”