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A Missouri woman serving a life sentence for killing a disabled man in 2016 was charged Monday with killing her friend years earlier.
Lincoln County prosecutors charged 62-year-old Pamela Hupp with first-degree murder and armed criminal action in the 2011 slaying of Elizabeth “Betsy” Faria.
Lincoln County Prosecuting Attorney Mike Wood said Hupp convinced Faria to switch a $150,000 life insurance policy to Hupp’s name days before staging her stabbing death to make it look like her husband did it, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported.
Online court records didn’t list a lawyer for Hupp on Monday.
Hupp in 2019 was sentenced to life in prison without the possibility for parole for the 2016 fatal shooting of 33-year-old Louis Gumpenberger.
In that case, Hupp staged a fake kidnapping to divert attention from herself in a re-investigation of the Faria killing, prosecutors said. They claim she cruised St. Charles County, and lured Gumpenberger to her home with claims she was a producer for NBC’s Dateline in need of help reenacting a 911 call. Gumpenberger had mental and physical disabilities from an accident.
Prosecutors say she attempted to lure other people with that same story.
Wood told the Post-Dispatch that investigators mishandled the initial Faria murder investigation by rushing to judge her husband, Russell Faria, as the murderer and then protecting their case by ignoring or concealing evidence that pointed to Hupp.
Faria was sentenced in 2013 to life in prison for his wife’s killing in but the conviction was overturned in 2015. The Lincoln County Sheriff’s Department last year reached a $2 million settlement with him for the wrongful conviction.
Wood said he and the new sheriff are investigating “misconduct and potentially criminal behavior on the part of (the former) investigators and prosecutors.” Wood said he was “on the fence between (whether it was) really gross negligence and calculated criminal behavior.”
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