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Judge denies motion to remove death penalty for Pam Hupp

Hupp's story has gathered national attention, including multiple investigations by NBC's Dateline.
Credit: Dateline NBC
Pamela Hupp

ST. CHARLES, Mo. – In a Friday morning hearing, defense for Pam Hupp filed a motion to remove the death penalty arguing its unconstitutional because ‘the umbrella that defines aggravated murder is unconstitutional.’

Hupp is accused of tricking a man with a traumatic brain injury, 33-year-old Louis Gumpenberger, into coming over to her home where she tried to make it look like he was breaking-in and then shooting him all to throw investigators off her trail in another murder case.

A judge denied the motion to remove the death penalty for Hupp.

“This is a woman who went all over St. Charles (county) looking for someone she could set-up to make a fake 911 call so that she could execute the person while they were on the phone,” said St. Charles County prosecutor Phil Groenweghe in court Friday.

Prosecutors say in 2016 Pam Hupp lured Gumpenberger over to her home and shot and killed him while telling a 911 dispatcher he had held her at knife point and chased her into her home.

They said one of the first things she told investigators after shooting Gumpenberger was that he said he was after “Russ’s money.”

Prosecutors believe that was all part of her plan to distract from another investigation in Lincoln County where in 2011 Russ Faria’s wife Betsy was murdered.

Russ spent two years in prison for her death before he got a new trial and his freedom…when the finger was pointed at Pam Hupp.

Hupp collected Betsy’s insurance money and reportedly later told investigators she was also her lover.

But she insists shooting Gumpenberger in her home was self-defense.

Police say when they were first on that scene they treated her like a victim and Hupp kept talking.

But her attorneys say they were actually applying for warrants at the same time and want what she said before she was arrested kept out of her trial.

“It’s our position that the evidence today showed that there is an assault. It’s followed by a home invasion. And, it’s also our position that Ms. Hupp’s statements are consistent with that position,” said Nick Williams, one of Hupp’s attorneys in a brief statement outside the courthouse.

It’s unknown when the judge will rule on their other requests but the trial is set for September 11, 2018.

Hupp’s story has gathered national attention, including multiple investigations by NBC’s Dateline.

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