Lillie Mae Eubank Pleads Guilty for Role in Murder of Her Husband, an Active Duty Member of the Army, for Proceeds of Life Insurance Policy
SAVANNAH, GA—LILLIE MAE EUBANK, 40, of Fort Stewart, Georgia, pled guilty today to conspiracy to commit murder for hire in connection with the murder of her husband, United States Army Specialist John Joseph Eubank. EUBANK’s brother, CARL EVAN SWAIN, was previously convicted by a jury of various offenses related to the murder of Specialist Eubank, and received multiple sentences of life imprisonment without possibility of parole. EUBANK pled guilty before the Honorable William T. Moore, Jr., Judge for the United States District Court for the Southern District of Georgia, who also presided over SWAIN’s trial and sentencing hearing.
According to evidence presented at SWAIN’s trial and sentencing, and evidence presented duringEUBANK’s guilty plea hearing, EUBANK plotted the murder of her husband for months in order to obtain and split a $400,000 life insurance policy and a $100,000 death gratuity benefit payable toEUBANK upon Specialist Eubank’s death. As part of their plan, EUBANK agreed to pay Swain $160,000 for killing Specialist Eubank.
Evidence recovered from EUBANK’s own cellular telephone established how she and SWAIN planned the murder of Specialist Eubank for months. Telephone records and text messages showed EUBANK andSWAIN discussed possible locations for the murder, various methods to commit the murder, and even included Internet searches conducted by EUBANK about poisons that EUBANK might use to kill her husband that are undetectable in an autopsy.
On November 30, 2013, at approximately 5:00 p.m., EUBANK and SWAIN executed their plan when they lured Specialist Eubank into the woods at Holbrook Pond on Ft. Stewart to go “animal tracking.” While in the woods, SWAIN attacked Specialist Eubank with a heavy wooden bat and crushed Specialist Eubank’s skull, causing massive injuries to his brain. EUBANK watched SWAIN bludgeon her husband to death, and waited in a getaway car a short distance away.
EUBANK and SWAIN left Specialist Eubank on the ground, with no identification and no cellular telephone, choking on his own blood. Other members of the United States Army, visiting Holbrook Pond with their families, found Specialist Eubank in the woods and heroically attempted life-saving measures, but Specialist Eubank died about one hour later at Winn Army Community Hospital. A later autopsy revealed that Specialist Eubank suffered massive fractures to his jaw and skull; multiple brain injuries; a broken hyoid bone and other injuries to the neck. Specialist Eubank had no defensive wounds on his body.
Shortly after the murder of Specialist Eubank, EUBANK was interviewed, and confessed to her role in the murder of her husband. Among other things, EUBANK admitted that she hired SWAIN to kill her husband in order to obtain the life insurance and death gratuity money.
As part of EUBANK’s plea agreement, EUBANK waived her right to appeal, and now faces a mandatory sentence of life imprisonment without possibility of parole. There is no parole in the federal system.
The conviction and sentence of SWAIN, and conviction of EUBANK, resulted from a joint investigation by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the United States Army Criminal Investigation Division.
United States Attorney Edward J. Tarver commended the work of the Federal Bureau of Investigation and Assistant United States Attorneys Brian T. Rafferty and Jennifer G. Solari for their expert investigation and prosecution of the case on behalf of the United States. For additional information, please contact First Assistant United States Attorney James D. Durham at (912) 201-2547.