After pleading publicly for help finding her husband's killer, federal prosecutors say a North Texas woman has pled guilty to planning his death.
According to charging documents, Jennifer Lynne Faith, a 49-year-old Oak Cliff woman, said she was having a "full-blown emotional affair" with her high school boyfriend who investigators said drove from Tennessee to Dallas to kill her husband as the couple walked their dog a day after their 15th wedding anniversary.
Prosecutors said Jennifer Faith admitted in plea papers her boyfriend, 49-year-old Darrin Ruben Lopez, gunned down her husband outside their home on Waverly Drive on Oct. 9, 2020.
In a statement Monday, prosecutors said Jennifer Faith admitted she knew Lopez -- whom she called her “one and only love” -- "and that he suffered a traumatic brain injury while serving in the U.S. Army in Iraq, leaving him disabled."
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Prosecutors said Jennifer Faith sent Lopez money and gifts, both before and after her husband's murder, and even provided him with two credit cards which she paid off using the proceeds of a “Support Jennifer Faith” GoFundMe fundraiser launched after his death.
Jennifer Faith, prosecutors said, "used two phony email accounts to correspond with Mr. Lopez, assuming the identities of her own husband and one of her friends in order to falsely convince Mr. Lopez that her husband was physically and sexually abusing her." In her plea papers, Jennifer Faith said that no such abuse ever occurred and that she used stock images depicting injuries to convince Lopez she was being abused.
In the early days of the investigation into Jamie Faith's death, Jennifer gave police permission to download the contents of her phone. Investigators said information in her phone revealed she and her husband were having marital problems and that she was involved in a lengthy "emotional affair" with Lopez and that the pair had exchanged 5,700 texts or calls during a 12-day period after the murder.
Lopez, who owned a truck with a distinctive sticker seen at the scene of the murder, was arrested in Tennessee in January 2021 and was charged by the state with murdering Jamie Faith and by federal investigators with a gun charge. Prosecutors said the gun used to kill Jamie Faith was found at Lopez's home. Lopez has pleaded not guilty to both charges, federal prosecutors said, and is currently awaiting trial.
A month after Lopez's arrest, in February 2021, Jennifer Faith was charged with obstruction of justice after police said she deleted texts between herself and Lopez in an attempt to hinder their investigation. Seven months later investigators also charged her with murder-for-hire, an offense that could end with her on death row.
"Jennifer Faith's cold-blooded plot to murder her husband was made all the more heinous by the way she behaved after his death. Even as she wept for her late husband on TV, Ms. Faith was corresponding with his murderer, plotting about how to cover up their crime," said U.S. Attorney Chad Meacham in a statement Monday.
According to prosecutors, Jennifer Faith pleaded guilty to the murder-for-hire charge if they agreed to drop the obstruction charge and recommend she spend life behind bars instead of being put to death.
Sentencing will ultimately be at the discretion of U.S. District Judge Jane J. Boyle.
OAK CLIFF MAN KILLED
WIDOW APPEARS ON NBC 5 FOLLOWING HUSBAND'S MURDER
In December 2020, two months after her husband was killed in front of her, Jennifer Faith sat down for an interview with NBC 5, she said, to keep her husband's case from growing cold.
In the interview, she described her husband, an American Airlines technology director, as "Very kind, very caring. He would do anything for anybody."
“My hope is that someday perhaps the person will realize the gravity of what they’ve done and what they have taken from myself and my daughter,” Faith told NBC 5 in December 2020. “He was just the backbone of our family. It was just devastating.”
Faith told NBC 5 the day her husband was killed started out as a normal day and that they had just left home to walk their dog, a common activity for the couple.
"It’s kind of bonding time in the morning, just the two of us. We leave the house every day anywhere between 7:30 and 8:30 depending on when Jamie’s first work call was," Faith said.
She told NBC 5 they’d barely made it a few yards from their house when she heard someone running up behind her.
“I turned around and all of a sudden somebody just started shooting at him. And just kept shooting and shooting and shooting,” Jennifer Faith said.
Faith's husband was shot seven times, including three times in the head, three times in the chest, and once in the groin.
According to court documents, the man who shot Jamie Faith bound Jennifer with tape and assaulted her with his hands. Jennifer Faith told police nothing was taken in the attack and that the man who attacked them was wearing a blue mask and that she couldn't see his face. She also told police she did not see his getaway vehicle.
“It seems like a robbery but we’re just not sure,” Faith told NBC 5. “It seems like a lot of gunshots just to try to take property from somebody.”
In the interview with NBC 5, she asked the public to help look for the killer's vehicle, a description of which was provided by witnesses at the scene and surveillance video later obtained by police. Police described the truck as a black 2004 extended cab Nissan Titan with a distinctive "T" decal on the back window.
Lopez, prosecutors said, owned a Nissan Titan with a "T" decal on the window. In texts recovered from his phone, investigators said Jennifer Faith told Lopez to remove that sticker from his truck.
“I woke up in a bit of a panic… Something is eating away at me telling me you need to take the sticker out of the back window of the truck,” she texted him, according to prosecutors. “I don’t normally overreact like this… really think you need to get that sticker off ASAP, like today.” Mr. Lopez allegedly removed the sticker the following day.
NBC 5's Candace Sweat contributed to this report.