Jennifer Faith Charged With Obstructing Investigation Into Husband’s Death
(STL.News) The wife of a Dallas man allegedly gunned down by her paramour has been charged with obstruction of justice, announced Acting U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Texas Prerak Shah.
Jennifer Lynne Faith, 48, was arrested at her residence in Oak Cliff on Wednesday, charged via criminal complaint with one count of destruction of an object with the intent to obstruct a federal investigation. The complaint was unsealed on Thursday. Ms. Faith will make her initial appearance before U.S. Magistrate Judge Renee Toliver on Friday.
“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,” said U.S. Attorney Prerak Shah. “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.”
“Sometimes things just aren’t what they seem. Special Agents and Detectives knew Mrs. Faith was hiding something and were able to expose her darkest secrets. She was indeed entangled with the man we believe to have murdered her husband,” stated ATF Special Agent in Charge of the Dallas Field Division Jeffrey C. Boshek II. “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.”
“I am pleased to see that there were no stones left unturned during the course of this investigation, and that our collaborative efforts have brought those involved to justice,” said Dallas Police Department Chief Eddie Garcia. “I am also excited to continue this partnership with the USDOJ in our ongoing determination to remove the criminal elements off the streets.”
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, the 48-year-old Tennessee man who allegedly murdered Ms. Faith’s husband, James Faith, on Oct. 9, 2020.
Investigators determined that Mr. Lopez drove from his home in Tennessee on Oct. 9 to the Faiths’ home in Dallas, where he allegedly laid in wait until the couple left to walk their dog, then shot Mr. Faith seven times before fleeing the scene.
Ballistic tests proved that a .45 caliber handgun found inside Mr. Lopez’s home on Jan. 11, 2021 was the weapon used to kill Mr. Faith. Law enforcement agents also learned that Mr. Lopez owned a Nissan Titan pickup that matched witnesses’ description of the shooter’s vehicle. In November, law enforcement agents in Tennessee observed a distinctive “T” decal on the truck’s back window, which matched witness’ descriptions of a “T” sticker on the rear window of the shooter’s truck.
In an interview with law enforcement in January, Ms. Faith allegedly admitted that she communicated daily with Mr. Lopez via cell phone, but denied an intimate relationship.
An analysis of Mr. Lopez’s cell phone, seized after his arrest on Jan. 11, revealed that Ms. Faith and Mr. Lopez were intimately involved. Ms. Faith used her cell phone to update Mr. Lopez on her efforts to collect on Mr. Faith’s life insurance policy and to coach Mr. Lopez on how to respond to potential police questioning.
Text messages revealed that even as she publicly projected the grieving widow persona on TV, privately, Ms. Faith instructed Mr. Lopez to remove the distinctive “T” decal off of his truck – the same decal that witnesses had reported to law enforcement on the day of the murder.
“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 Mr. Lopez on Dec. 3.
“I don’t want to just take it off all at once the girls would notice that,” he responded thirty minutes later. “But I have been working on it.”
“I have a bad feeling and I really think you need to get that sticker off ASAP….like today,” Ms. Faith texted the following day.
“Sticker done,” Mr. Lopez responded on Dec. 6, confirming he had removed the “T” sticker from his truck as Ms. Faith had instructed.
“Oh YAY!!! Thank you!!” Ms. Faith replied. “I feel SOOOOOO much better.”
Law enforcement agents conducting surveillance in Tennessee noted that the “T” sticker had been removed from Lopez’s vehicle when they observed the truck on Dec. 8.
Then, on Jan. 10, a day before Ms. Faith was scheduled to be interviewed by police, Ms. Faith texted Mr. Lopez and told him she planned to wipe down the contents on her cell phone prior to meeting with investigators.
“Don’t text me Monday. I am going to factory reset my phone on Sunday night after deleting texts,” Ms. Faith texted.
“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. Just thinking in case they [law enforcement] pulled phone records and asked,” she added.
After meeting with Ms. Faith on Jan. 11, investigators searched her cell phone and determined she had deleted most of the text messages from her phone, including her texts with Mr. Lopez.
Despite the factory reset of Ms. Faith’s cell phone, investigators were able to recover the deleted text messages off of Mr. 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.
A criminal complaint is merely an allegation of wrongdoing, not evidence. Like all defendants, Ms. Faith and Mr. Lopez are presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.
If convicted, Ms. Faith faces up to 20 years in federal prison on the obstruction count. Mr. Lopez 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.
The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms & Explosives’ Dallas Field Division and the Dallas Police Department’s Homicide Unit conducted the investigation with the assistance of the ATF’s Nashville Field Office, the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s Dallas Field Office, Homeland Security Investigations, the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation’s Aviation Unit, and the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Middle District of Tennessee. NDTX Assistant U.S. Attorney Rick Calvert is prosecuting the case.