The widow of murdered Fort Stewart soldier Spc. John Joseph Beans Eubank was ordered detained by federal Judge G.R. Smith during a federal court hearing Tuesday morning in Savannah.
According to media representative 1st Assistant U.S. Attorney James Durham of the Southern District of Georgia, Lillie Eubank’s detention is similar to being held without bail, pending trial or some other disposition. He said the U.S. Attorney’s office now has 30 days to return with an indictment.
“I can’t disclose anything that wasn’t disclosed in open court today,” Durham said. “There is no additional information.”
Information that was disclosed in court include reports by the Federal Bureau of Investigation that allege Eubank arranged for her brother, Carl Evan “Cowboy” Swain, to murder her husband so she could collect on his $500,000 life-insurance policy. She supposedly planned to give her brother $30,000 in cash payments and keep the rest of the money to pay bills and start a business, according to Durham.
Swain reportedly came to Fort Stewart by bus and met Eubank’s husband at the Holbrook Pond Recreation Area, a site reportedly chosen for the murder by Lillie Eubank. Swain allegedly used a ball bat to commit the murder. Spc. Eubank was found, brutally beaten, by another soldier Nov. 30, 2013, and taken to Winn Army Community Hospital, where he later died from blunt trauma.
“The government proffers that Ms. Eubank gave investigators incriminating statements with regard to her role in the murder,” Durham said, referencing a 2-1/2-hour long video in which she essentially confessed her part in her husband’s murder. “Her case came before the court based on a criminal complaint.”
Lillie Eubank is charged with murder. Assistant U.S. Attorney Cameron Heaps Ippolito on Wednesday will present a case against the defendant to a federal grand jury. If convicted, Lillie Eubank faces life in prison or the death penalty. Her brother was charged with first-degree murder following a federal grand-jury indictment Jan. 9.
In court, Smith called Eubank destitute, a flight risk and a danger to the community. Durham said the judge denied a request by Bill Bell, her court-appointed defense attorney, for a preliminary hearing. Smith said, however, if the government does not obtain an indictment, he will schedule a preliminary hearing next week.
Other information disclosed during today’s hearing included information from investigators that Lillie Eubank grew up in what Ippolito called a “dysfunctional family.” Ippolito said Eubank had a history of mental-health problems, including substance abuse.