UPDATE 9-29-2021: The U.S. Attorney's Office for the Northern District of Texas has indicted Jennifer Faith on a federal charge of interstate commission of murder-for-hire. "Ms. Faith's alleged murder-for-hire scheme was depraved and calculated," said Acting U.S. Attorney Prerak Shah in a release.
Her ex-boyfriend Darrin Lopez has been charged with murder.
The release says that Faith created fake email accounts, one under her husband's name, from which she emailed Lopez posing as her husband and "taunting Mr. Lopez with details of extreme physical and sexual abuse that never actually occurred."
Federal murder-for-hire carries a punishment up to the death penalty.
Jennifer Faith, whose husband James Faith was shot and killed on an Oak Cliff sidewalk in Dallas on October 9, 2020, has been charged with obstruction of justice.
Faith, 48, was arrested at her residence in Oak Cliff on February 24 and charged with one count of destruction of an object with the intent to obstruct a federal investigation. The complaint was unsealed on February 25, and Faith will appear before U.S. Magistrate Judge Renee Toliver on February 26.
According to Acting U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Texas Prerak Shah, Faith was communicating with the alleged killer, her ex-boyfriend Darrin Lopez, throughout and following her husband's death. Lopez has already been arrested.
"Even as she publicly claimed she was 'desperate for answers' regarding her husband's murder, Jennifer Faith was communicating with the alleged killer, actively urging him to destroy evidence and attempting to delete incriminating communications from her phone," Shah said in a release. "Thanks to the dedication of our agents and officers, Ms. Faith could not keep law enforcement from identifying her husband’s killer. Even so, we cannot allow her obstruction of justice to stand. We are determined to hold her accountable for her crime."
James Faith was an Information Technology Director for American Airlines. After his murder, Jennifer made a plea to help find his killer. She was also the recipient of a GoFundMe that accumulated nearly $60,000 in donations; GoFundMe is offering refunds to anyone who donated.
ATF Special Agent in Charge of the Dallas Field Division Jeffrey C. Boshek II said that the investigative team was not fooled.
"Special Agents and Detectives knew Mrs. Faith was hiding something and were able to expose her darkest secrets," Boshek says. "She was indeed entangled with the man we believe to have murdered her husband. Her cowardly attempts to utilize the media to conceal her involvement did not hamper relentless investigators. She will now face the consequences for her misdeeds."
According to the complaint, a search of Ms. Faith's phone revealed she was having what she described as "a full-blown emotional affair" with Darrin Ruben Lopez, 48, of Tennessee.
Lopez drove from Tennessee to Dallas on October 9, then allegedly laid in wait until the couple left to walk their dog. Faith was shot seven times, and Lopez fled in a black pickup truck.
Authorities found the gun used to kill Faith inside Lopez's home, as well as his Nissan Titan pickup, which matched witnesses' description of the shooter's vehicle.
In an interview with law enforcement in January, Jennifer Faith allegedly admitted that she communicated daily with Lopez via cell phone, but denied they were having an intimate relationship. Phone records show she texted him 14,000 times.
But an analysis of Lopez's cell phone revealed that they were involved. She updated Lopez on her efforts to collect on her husband's life insurance policy and also to coach Lopez on how to respond to police questioning.
She also told him to remove a distinctive "T" decal off of his truck that witnesses described.
"So I woke up in a little 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 on December 3.
"I don’t want to just take it off all at once the girls would notice that, but I have been working on it," he texted back.
She texted the next day, "I have a bad feeling and I really think you need to get that sticker off ASAP….like today."
"Sticker done," he responded.
"Oh YAY!!! Thank you!! I feel SOOOOOO much better," she said.
On January 10, the day before she was supposed to be interviewed by the police, she texted him not to text her because she planned to wipe down the contents on her cell phone.
"If asked about you, you are an old friend going through a divorce," she texted him. "We talk every night because I am helping/giving support with the girls since you have sole custody. If it ever comes to it, I'll answer the same way. Just so you and I have the same explanations. Just thinking in case they [law enforcement] pulled phone records and asked."
Investigators were able to recover the deleted text messages from Lopez's cell phone.
Mr. Lopez has been charged by the state with murder and by the feds with transporting a firearm in interstate commerce. He faces up to 10 years in federal prison on the federal firearm count and up to life in a state penitentiary on the murder charge brought by Dallas County.
If convicted, Faith faces up to 20 years in federal prison on the obstruction count.