A jury was selected and the trial started this week in federal court in Savannah in the death of a Fort Stewart soldier.
In January 2014, a federal grand jury in Savannah indicted Carl Evan “Cowboy” Swain, 43, of Alabama, of first-degree murder in connection with the death of Spc. John Joseph Beans Eubank.
Opening arguments were presented by Assistant U.S. Attorney Brian Rafferty in Swain’s trial.
As previously reported in the Courier, Eubank was found, brutally beaten, by another soldier Nov. 30, 2013, at Holbrook Pond. He was taken to Winn Army Community Hospital, where he later died from blunt-force trauma.
The homicide was investigated by the FBI, which led to the indictment of Swain. A few months later, in March 2014, the soldier’s widow, Lillie Eubank, also was charged with murder.
During a March 2014 hearing, 1st Assistant U.S. Attorney James Durham, spokesman for the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Georgia, said reports by the FBI alleged that Eubank arranged for her brother to murder her husband so she could collect on his $500,000 life-insurance policy. She was said to have planned to give her brother $30,000 in cash payments and keep the rest of the money to pay bills and start a business, Durham said at the time.
It is alleged that Swain 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 baseball bat to commit the murder, according to testimony provided at the hearing.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Cameron Heaps Ippolito had reported that Eubank’s widow grew up in what he called a “dysfunctional family.” Ippolito said Eubank had a history of mental-health problems, including substance abuse, at last year’s hearing.
Calls to Durham regarding the current trial in Savannah were not returned by press time.
The Courier will update the information as it becomes available.