Pam Hupp's lawyers request venue change

Hupp's defense team said coverage and online discussion means she would not get a fair trial.

ST. CHARLES, MO. - The defense team for a woman accused of killing a man with special needs last summer filed a change of venue motion this week.

In the 337-page document, attorneys for Pamela Hupp argued she cannot receive a fair trial in St. Charles County because residents are already prejudiced against her.

They asked the court to bring in jurors from another county to hear the case.

They said it would be easier than moving the trial to another county because of the proximity of witnesses to the St. Charles County courthouse.

Hupp was charged with first-degree murder in the August 2016 death of Louis Gumpenberger. She pleaded not guilty to the charges last month.

Police said she lured him to her home and planted evidence to make it look like self-defense. They said Hupp was trying to take “the heat” off herself for another case she’s been associated with for many years.

In 2012, she was the star witness in a Lincoln County murder trial concerning the stabbing death of her best friend, Betsy Faria.

Faria’s husband Russ was found guilty of the crime originally, but was acquitted during a November 2015 retrial. That case received widespread news coverage locally and nationally from programs like “Dateline”.

Hupp also made news in 2013 when her mother died from a fall off a balcony at her retirement home. The death has been ruled an accident, but police stated they were reviewing it following Hupp’s arrest.

In their motion, Hupp’s attorneys argued that she has been the subject of sometimes inaccurate and incomplete media coverage for several years. They said it’s tainted the pool of potential jurors who currently reside in St. Charles County.

They included sworn affidavits from three individuals who said they believe Hupp is guilty of murder and would be unable to change their opinion.

They also included hundreds of pages of articles from various news outlets and comments from social media that shed Hupp in a negative light.

A spokeswoman for the prosecuting attorney’s office declined to comment, but it is expected the office will argue against any change of venue.

A hearing on the matter is scheduled in August. Hupp’s jury trial is slated to begin this fall.

(© 2017 KSDK)


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