The case of Justine Abshire, the kindergarten teacher who was killed in a supposed hit and run accident, will have her case profiled tonight on Sunday’s Dateline. Dateline NBC is a weekly show dedicated to bringing you the latest in crime and justice cases. The Justine Abshire hit and run death case first aired in 2012.
Newlywed bride Justine Abshire was found dead on the side of the road in Orange County, Virginia in November 2006. Her husband, Eric Dee Abshire, was found guilty in her death. The case fascinated police and the public because it looked like a hit and run death, but upon further examination, it became obvious that it was a clear case of homicide. The couple had only been married for six months.
The family of Justine Swartz Abshire says that she was a beautiful person with a very kind and meek personality, but was too trusting. Her kindergarten students at Emerald Hill Elementary School in Culpepper adored her and were devastated to hear about her death.
It was freezing cold when police officers were called to the scene during the early morning hours in an area located on Taylorsville Road in W. Orange County, where they found the body of Justine Abshire. Her husband, Eric, told officers that his wife had car trouble and was involved in a hit and run. Law enforcement officials say that Eric was crying uncontrollably and holding his wife in his arms when they arrived.
As police scoured the scene for evidence, they could find nothing that indicated a hit and run. There was no debris, no skid marks, no drag marks, no broken glass, and no blood on Justine Abshire’s skin or clothes. The coroner confirmed that they should investigate the case as a homicide.
But with no witnesses and no evidence, the case went cold. Police were sure that Eric Abshire was their man but needed more in order to secure a conviction at trial. According to Daily Progress, Eric Dee Abshire, 36, was arrested and charged with first-degree murder in December 2010, four years after his wife’s death.
At trial, prosecutors alleged that Eric Abshire killed his wife for the insurance money due to financial problems and to be with his lover. The State’s case was compelling, and it only took jurors a little more than two hours to find Eric Abshire guilty of first-degree murder. In 2012, he was sentenced to life in prison.
After trial, Justine Abshire’s parents found it hard to cope with her death. The worry and anguish associated with their daughter’s death caused them to lose the family business and their home. Update: Eric Abshire’s appeal was denied.
Catch up with Dateline NBC tonight for the episode entitled Shattered. The tease is below.
“A young kindergarten teacher is found dead on a Virginia road five miles from her home. She is an apparent victim of a hit and run, but little about the accident scene makes sense. Although investigators suspect foul play, it would take years to untangle the complete mystery.”
[Photo Credit: YouTube]