Pam Hupp charged with first degree murder

O’FALLON, MO (KPLR) - The star witness in a sensational murder case is now charged with a separate murder.  Our cameras exclusively captured Hupp's arrest and arrival at the police department.

Police say Pam Hupp killed an innocent man hoping to frame an old adversary.

Pam Hupp's story sent Russ Faria to prison in 2011 for the murder of his wife, who was already dying from cancer.  Russ was exonerated after an extensive Fox 2 investigation.

We captured video of Hupp`s arrest near her O’Fallon, Missouri home at about 11 am.  One week ago today, Hupp told police she shot and killed a burglar who confronted her at her car with a knife and then entered her house.  St. Charles County prosecuting attorney Tim Lohmar explained it was not that simple.

He said, “The evidence seems to indicate she hatched a plot to find an innocent victim, in an apparent effort to frame somebody else.”

That innocent victim, Louis Gumpenberger, a man who could not drive, had traumatic brain injury and walked with a limp.  Prosecutor Lohmar said the truth is Hupp's cell phone placed her near Gumpenberger's apartment complex right before the murder.

Lohmar said, “A search warrant was served on Google to provide historical location data.  Her device resolved to Gumpenberger's apartment complex.”

Police believe Hupp planted a handwritten note and $900 cash on Gumpenberger after killing him to make it appear he'd been sent there to kill her.

Lohmar said, “The handwritten note appeared to be instruction to kidnap Hupp, get “Russ`s money” at the bank and then to kill Hupp to collect the rest, $10,000. The note also mentioned the last name Faria.”

Authorities wanted to know if Hupp knew a Russ.  Lohmar added, “After first telling the officer she did not know a Russ, she then acknowledged she knew a Russ Faria.”

Hupp's testimony against Russ Faria sent him to prison for his wife's murder. He was freed after a judge ruled jurors should have heard suppressed evidence that pointed to another potential suspect -- Pam Hupp, who benefited from Betsy's $150,000 life insurance policy. Then there was another tipping point, investigators believe Pam Hupp tried to lure a different innocent woman six days before Gumpenberger's shooting

Lohmar said the woman, believed to be Hupp, “…told her she was a Dateline producer and tried to recruit this individual for an upcoming segment.”  Lohmar said she lured the woman with a thousand dollars, but the passenger soon became suspicious and got out of the vehicle.

Lohmar said surveillance video shows it was Pam Hupp’s vehicle.

Investigators also gave a timeline from that cell phone tracking data. It showed Hupp was around Gumpenberger's apartment complex for four minutes and then was at Hupp’s home with Gumpenberger, where she reported a home invasion 35 minutes later.

O’Fallon Police Chief Roy Joachimstaler said Pam Hupp stabbed herself in the neck and wrists with a pen shortly after getting to police headquarters.  It's not reported to be life threatening.  She's now at a hospital.  Hupp is being held on a $2 million dollar cash only bond.