A jury last week convicted Eugene Jupp of beating his elderly roommate to death and dumping her body into a recycling bin outside their South Hill rental home.
Jurors determined he killed 79-year-old Stephanie Standen on April 4 last year. Her body was found on a conveyor belt the next day by workers at the SMaRT Recycling Center on Geiger Road.
But from the moment he turned himself in to police on April 19 – after first walking into KHQ News’ headquarters hours after an arrest warrant was issued to say he was a good man – Jupp has maintained his innocence. Now, from the confines of his jail cell, he’s begging for people to listen.
“I did not kill this woman,” the 56-year-old said as he sat Tuesday afternoon in a visiting room at the Spokane County Jail. “I’m innocent of this crime.”
Jupp’s second-degree murder conviction came after a trial that featured multiple witnesses called by prosecutors, including detectives, forensic experts and the Spokane County medical examiner.
Jupp killed Standen out of frustration due to her poor hygiene and problematic living conditions. Friends and family of Standen say she was estranged and deeply reclusive in her later years, and was living with undiagnosed mental health issues.
Jupp beat Standen to death, then put her body in the home’s recycling bin as a means of discarding evidence, since he didn’t own a car. When she was found at the recycling center, detectives determined her residence through Adult Protective Services. The address matched the recycling truck’s route.
Jupp, meanwhile, contends he was gone when the state says he killed – first at work all day, then at Spokane Addiction Recovery Centers in the evening.
He thinks his roommate likely died at the hands of a burglar who was confronted when he broke into the home.
“My god,” he said. “Nobody kills somebody because they’re dirty.”
While deputy prosecuting attorney Jennifer Zappone spent multiple days on the case, Jupp said his public defender used only a few hours and called just four witnesses – his wife, daughter and son as character witnesses. Jupp also testified.
Jupp said dissatisfaction with his representation is the chief motivator for an appeal, which he plans to file in the near future.
“This is what bothers me the most,” he said. “All of their witnesses had canned answers. They were all rehearsed.”
Jupp has seven prior felonies that include robberies and violent offenses in Montana and Texas. He has also committed 41 misdemeanors and failed to appear in court 23 times.
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