ST. CHARLES, Mo. – “Is this going to be filmed? Because I always appear on the news with Chris Hayes.”
Those were the first words from Pam Hupp to O’Fallon police detectives during an interview following the August 2016 shooting death of Louis Gumpenberger.
That interview was played during a pre-trial hearing Tuesday morning. O’Fallon police arrested Hupp for Gumpenberger’s murder. Hupp had claimed Gumpenberger, a man with disabilities, was trying to kidnap her.
However, investigators discovered Hupp lured Gumpenberger to her home after first trying to lure two other people. Hupp reportedly plotted the murder for days, in a twisted plan to make her look like a victim.
Later in that August 2016 interview with O’Fallon detectives, Hupp said, “I blame Chris Hayes (for the shooting).”
St. Charles County Prosecutor Tim Lohmar later discussed why Hupp’s comments about news coverage point to a possible motive.
“I think the idea that we’re trying to convey and that we hope to convey at trial is that she was very aware of her alleged role in that case – and that sort precipitated the actions that led to this case,” he said.
The case Lohmar’s referring to is the 2011 unsolved murder of Betsy Faria. Hupp may have hoped to get authorities off her back.
Betsy’s husband, Russ Faria, was acquitted after a second trial. Prosecutors said Hupp was tired of taking the heat in that case and plotted Gumpenberger’s murder to escape further scrutiny.
“She was very methodical and had reasons behind each of the steps she took, so it was very premeditated,” Lohmar said.
Detectives also questioned Hupp about the note that was found on Gumpenberger’s body after the shooting. Parts of the note read, “Take Hupp back to house and get rid of her. Make it look like Russ’ wife. Make sure knife sticking out of neck.”
A St. Charles County judge will make a decision about what evidence to allow at trial in the next couple of months.
Hupp’s trial is slated for June 2019. Jurors will be bused into St. Charles County from Clay County so the courts can find people who don’t already know about Hupp or the case.