Authorities said Jennifer Faith texted the alleged gunman, whom she was having an affair with, and instructed him to destroy evidence.
Feb. 27, 2021, 12:21 AM PST
By Minyvonne Burke
A Dallas woman who publicly pleaded for answers after her husband was gunned down while walking the dog has been arrested after authorities said she instructed the alleged killer to destroy evidence.
James Faith was killed on Oct. 9 after he was shot seven times while walking in his Oak Cliff neighborhood with his wife, Jennifer Faith.
About two months after the crime, Jennifer Faith spoke with local media and demanded justice.
“We walk our dog every morning, and it’s kind of our bonding time in the morning,” she told NBC Dallas-Fort Worth. “Just the two of us.”
She said on the day her husband was killed, she heard someone running behind them. When she turned around, the person “just started shooting at him,” she said.
In another interview with WFAA, she said the gunman tackled her, beat her and taped her hands together. James Faith, an IT director with American Airlines, died at the scene
At one point in the interview with WFAA, Jennifer Faith appeared to get emotional as she described losing her husband of 15 years.
“I’m not supposed to be widowed at 48,” she said, pleading with the suspect to come forward. “I just hope that at some point maybe this person can recognize the gravity of what they’ve done and some sort of guilt enough to come forward.”
While Jennifer Faith appeared to be a grieving widow, federal authorities said she had been in communication with the alleged gunman, Darrin Lopez, with whom she was having an affair.
Lopez, 48, of Cumberland Furnace, Tennessee, was arrested by local authorities on Jan. 11 and charged with murder. Federal authorities later charged him with transporting a firearm in interstate commerce.
He is accused of arming himself with a .45-caliber handgun and driving from his home in Tennessee to the Faiths’ home in Texas on the morning of Oct. 9. The U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of Texas said he “laid in wait, then shot the victim seven times” before fleeing and returning home.
The handgun was found in Lopez’s home following his arrest, according to authorities.
Jennifer Faith was arrested at her home on Wednesday and charged with one count of destruction of an object with the intent to obstruct a federal investigation, the U.S. Attorney’s Office said in a news release. She was booked into the Dallas County jail, records show.
In a complaint unsealed Thursday, authorities accused Jennifer Faith of sending Lopez text messages prior to their arrests instructing him “on how to respond to potential police questioning.” She also told him to remove a “T” decal off the back of his truck because witnesses reported seeing it on the day of the murder, prosecutors said.
“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,” Jennifer Faith texted Lopez on Dec. 3, according to the complaint.
Officials said Lopez responded that he didn’t want to remove the decal all at once because his daughters “would notice that.” Days later, he allegedly told Jennifer Faith that the decal had been removed.
“Oh YAY!!! Thank you!!” she replied, according to the complaint. “I feel SOOOOOO much better.”
In another text, authorities said Jennifer Faith updated Lopez on her efforts to collect her husband’s life insurance policy.
Proscecutors also alleged that she told Lopez that she was wiping her phone clean and instructed him on how to respond to police if questioned about the nature of their relationship.
“Don’t text me Monday. I am going to factory reset my phone on Sunday night after deleting texts,” one message read, according to the complaint.
“If asked about you, you are an old friend going through a divorce. 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,” she allegedly wrote in a text. “Just thinking in case they [law enforcement] pulled phone records and asked.”
The deleted messages were later recovered off of Lopez’s cellphone, according to authorities.
“Thanks to the dedication of our agents and officers, Ms. Faith could not keep law enforcement from identifying her husband’s killer,” U.S. Attorney Prerak Shah said in a statement. “Even so, we cannot allow her obstruction of justice to stand. We are determined to hold her accountable for her crime.”
Attorney information was not available for Jennifer Faith or Lopez.
SOURCE: Minyvonne Burke