Intimate messages show a torrid love affair between woman, man accused of killing her husband

Victim's wife previously pled guilty to helping find her husband's killer as well as planning his death

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Intimate messages shared between a woman and her high school boyfriend, who is accused of killing her husband in a murder-for-hire plot, were read in court Wednesday.

Prosecutors said 49-year-old Darrin Ruben Lopez had been having a torrid love affair with his high school ex-girlfriend, Jennifer Faith, and that he drove to Dallas from his home in Tennessee to kill her husband.

Defense attorneys said Darrin is a veteran who suffered a traumatic brain injury while serving in the U.S. Army in Iraq and that he'd been duped and manipulated by his ex into believing she was being abused by her husband and that only then did he agree to the plot to avenge her.

Jamie Faith, police said, was gunned down on Oct. 9, 2020, as he and his wife walked their dog near their Dallas home, a day after their 15th wedding anniversary.

On Wednesday, as Darrin's murder trial entered the second day, the defendant at times appeared embarrassed as jurors heard intimate, explicit messages between him and his ex. The messages, which had been recovered by investigators, were sent leading up to and after the murder.

Communication between Darrin and Jennifer started innocently enough after he tracked down his old girlfriend in 2020. The pair talked frequently and shared family pictures, but it wasn't long before Darrin professed his love for his old flame despite her being married.

Daily communication, prosecutors said, included false accusations made by Jennifer that she had been raped and physically abused by her husband. Investigators said she created fake email accounts and posed as a worried friend and even her husband, taunting Lopez with graphic photographs as he grew increasingly angry.

After the shooting, police trained their investigation on a truck with a distinctive sticker seen at the scene of the murder. That truck, with the "T" decal, had been recorded by surveillance cameras and was later determined to be owned by Darrin. Texts recovered by police showed Jennifer urging Darrin to remove the sticker from his truck.

Jennifer pled guilty in February 2022 to helping find her husband's killer as well as planning his death. In charging documents obtained last year, the woman admitted she knew Darrin -- whom she called her “one and only love” -- "and that he suffered a traumatic brain injury ... leaving him disabled."

Prosecutors said Jennifer sent Darrin 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 her husband's death.

If convicted, Darrin could face a prison sentence of between five years and life.

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