(KPLR) - Russ Faria, whether a prison inmate or a free man, has always said he hoped police would find his wife`s killer. He never imagined someone would try to frame him again.
Faria told me, 'All the press had died down and I was able to go about my business like a normal everyday person and then all of a sudden it`s all back.'
O`Fallon MO Police arrested Pam Hupp and the St. Charles County Prosecutor charged her with first degree murder after an alleged plot to frame Russ Faria. Hupp told police the man she killed, Louis Gumpenberger, was trying to kidnap her. Police and prosecutors believe that was a lie and that Hupp planted a note in Gumpenberger`s pocket saying to get 'Russ` money.'
Russ said, 'I was shocked. I`m like I haven`t had any dealings with this woman at all. You covered the civil trial between her and Betsy`s daughters and yeah I was there, but other than that I don`t run into her on the street, I don`t run into her in the store and if I did I`d turn around and run the other way.'
Now Faria wonders if he should have been looking over his shoulder.
He added, 'I guess it wasn`t until I talked to Joel Schwartz the day after and he kind of said `There`s a good chance you probably were in danger, `so it never really occurred to me until then, I`m like `oh that`s great!` At least it`s after the fact hahaha.'
Pam Hupp`s stories were key in Lincoln County`s case against Russ Faria. In the second trial, jurors heard evidence pointing to Pam Hupp as a possible suspect. Russ was exonerated.
His attorney Joel Schwartz said, 'They were treating Pam Hupp as if she were a rock star and part of their prosecution team.'
While every other witness in that trial had to use the front courthouse door and go through metal detectors, Pam Hupp was led in and out of a secured door, away from our cameras.
Schwartz added, 'The entire Lincoln County force, as well as the prosecution team, seemed to sympathize with her as well as protect her from day one.'
Russ wonders if Louis Gumpenberger's death could've been prevented.
He said, 'If Lincoln County had done the job that a 5th grader could`ve done, their loved one could`ve been alive.'
Gumpenberger's friends say he walked with a limp and couldn`t go anywhere without someone driving him.
Russ said, 'My wife was sick too. So it seems to me like she`s got a pattern of targeting disabled or sick people that can`t fight back.'
Now suspect Pam Hupp will be in court next month in St. Charles County. This time Russ Faria says he has faith the investigation will be done right.
A friend of the family of Louis Gumpenberger set up the following GoFundMe page to help pay for funeral expenses.