Pam Hupp pleads not guilty to Betsy Faria’s 2011 murder

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LINCOLN COUNTY, Mo. – A prosecutor tells FOX 2 reporter Chris Hayes that murder suspect Pam Hupp has entered a not guilty plea. The judge has denied Hupp’s request to waive her appearance. She will appear in person for her hearing Tuesday in Lincoln County.

Hupp is now charged with the 2011 murder of Betsy Faria. Michael Wood, the Lincoln County Prosecuting Attorney, said he will seek the death penalty in this case.

Betsy Faria was stabbed to death more than 50 times in 2011. Police and prosecutors at the time mistakenly focused on the victim’s husband, Russ Faria.

Her husband, Russ, was convicted in 2013 for the murder after a Lincoln County Sheriff’s Office investigation used Pam Hupp as a star witness. Hupp was the last person to see Betsy Faria alive.

Russ Faria was released from prison in 2015 and was exonerated in a second trial later that year. The second trial revealed all of the evidence in the murder of Russ’ wife, including evidence—and motive—pointing to Hupp as the possible killer. Lincoln County ultimately settled a civil lawsuit with Russ Faria over his prosecution for more than $2 million.

In 2016, Hupp was accused of shooting and killing Louis Gumpenberger in a plot to deflect the heat she was feeling from law enforcement outside of Lincoln County as federal investigators were looking into Hupp.

In June 2019, Hupp submitted an Alford plea to avoid the death penalty in the Gumbpenberger case. She admitted that the state of Missouri had enough evidence to convict her of Gumpenberger’s murder.

At present, Hupp is serving a life sentence in a Missouri state prison after attempts to have her plea thrown out were rejected in court. Lincoln County prosecutors say a cold case investigation of Betsy Faria’s murder could yield an announcement sometime later this summer or fall.

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