Lincoln County Prosecuting Attorney Mike Wood has refiled the murder case against Pamela Hupp, who was initially charged with first-degree murder in July 2021 for the killing of her friend, Betsy Faria, a decade earlier. Betsy’s husband, Russ Faria, had spent time in prison for the crime before his conviction was overturned.
The decision to refile the case, according to Wood, is aimed at petitioning for a closer venue. The original case had been moved to Springfield, which is approximately four hours away from Lincoln County. The move is intended to alleviate the financial and logistical challenges faced by prosecutors, witnesses, and the Faria family.
Prosecutors allege that Pamela Hupp fatally stabbed Betsy Faria in 2011 to claim a $150,000 life insurance policy that had been switched to Hupp’s name just days before Betsy’s death. They contend that Hupp staged the scene to implicate Russ Faria.
Russ Faria had been sentenced to life in prison in 2013, but his conviction was overturned in 2015. Last year, the Lincoln County Sheriff’s Department reached a $2 million settlement with him for the wrongful conviction.
The Faria case gained national attention and inspired an NBC miniseries titled “The Thing About Pam,” starring Renee Zellweger.
Pamela Hupp is currently serving a life sentence without the possibility of parole for another killing in 2016, where she staged a fake kidnapping to divert attention away from herself in the reinvestigation of the Faria murder. Hupp lured Louis Gumpenberger, a 33-year-old with mental and physical disabilities, to her home under the guise of being a producer for NBC’s Dateline, ultimately leading to his fatal shooting.