More Witnesses Called in Abshire Murder Trial - NBC29 WVIR Charlottesville, VA News, Sports and Weather

More Witnesses Called in Abshire Murder Trial

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The murder trial for Eric Abshire continued Monday in Orange County Circuit Court. The prosecution called more witnesses in an effort to prove Eric Abshire killed his wife Justine, whose body was found in the middle of Taylorsville Road in November 2006.  

Monday, Cecil Roebuck took the stand claiming the night before Justine Abshire was murdered, he saw Eric park a car along the side of the road. But the defense quickly called his credibility into question.  

On the evening of November 2, 2006, Roebuck says he was lost in the Barboursville area. He pulled into Eric Abshire's driveway and asked for directions, but claims Abshire said 'just follow me, I have to put gas in my wife's car.' He says that on the way, Abshire parked the car on the side of the road, claiming it ran out of gas. He drove Abshire back to his house later that evening.  

It was not until two years later, that Roebuck made a connection. He received an email sent to him in July 2008 about a TV special about Justine's murder, but claimed he did not read the email until December 2008. He says he watched it several times to make sure it was Eric. He also read articles about Justine's murder, then he called his lawyer. 

The defense claims legal issues and money could be motive for Roebouck.  At the time he was facing three felony indictments stemming from money issues. Roebuck entered an Alford plea for the charges in an Albemarle County court room. His other felony charges were also reduced to misdemeanors. He was ordered to pay restitution, and served 10 days in jail.  

A special agent with Virginia State Police interviewed Roebuck when he came forward with information about Eric Abshire. The agent had Roebuck get into a car with him and tell him the route he drove that night before meeting Abshire, and the routes he took following  Abshire. Roebuck took him to Route 618, the same road where Justine's body was found.   The agent testified Roebucks' story has always been consistent. 

Other witnesses who took the stand Monday include co-workers of Justine Abshire. Two Emerald Hill teachers said that Justine's behavior changed following her marriage to Eric. They said she became withdrawn and secluded herself from people.  

Justine's father, Steve Swartz also took the stand. Swartz testified in 2006 Eric and Justine approached him for a $40,000 - $45,000 loan to buy construction equipment. At the time, Swartz said he would have to revisit the issue.  

Swartz also testified about his daughter's finances before and during her marriage to Abshire. He said prior to being married, she always a balance of $900 in her account, but during her marriage it was normally around $121. Before her death, Justine borrowed $40,000 out of her retirement fund to purchase a car. 

Judge Daniel Bouton said the case is making excellent progress. The trial continues Tuesday in Orange County Circuit Court at 9:00 in the morning.

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