Lawyers Argue in Pamela Hupp Pre-Trial Hearing

Prosecutor wants permission to tell jurors the big picture.

Kevin Killeen
November 20, 2018 - 3:20 pm

Kevin Killeen/KMOX


ST. CHARLES, Mo. (KMOX) - Accused killer Pamela Hupp was back in circuit court, her lawyers fighting to keep some evidence out of her upcoming murder trial. 

Dressed in an orange jail house jump suit, handcuffed at the waist, Hupp appears thinner, her blonde hair gone gray, her mouth puckered in thought, as she rocked back and forth watching the lawyers argue.

Prosecutor Tim Lohmar wants the judge's permission to tell the jury about the 2011 Lincoln County stabbing death of Hupp's friend Betsy Faria, to argue that Hupp killed Lewis Gumpenberger in 2016 in St. Charles County to shift suspicion away from her in Faria's death.

"And so what we have to do is artfully find a way to tell enough of that back story, but yet not jeopardize her right to a fair trial," Lohmar told reporters afterwards.

Hupp's lawyers are concerned any mention of the Faria case could prejudice the jury against her. 

During the pre-trial hearing, a video tape was played showing Hupp talking to police in 2016 about the Gumpenberger shooting, which she claims was in self-defense. The prosecution argues that because Hupp herself broached the subject of Betsy Faria's husband, it opened the door for that case to be mentioned in the trial.

Judge John Cunningham is not expected to rule on what evidence he'll allow in the trial for a month or more.

Lohmar says a plea bargain with Hupp to avoid a trial remains an option, but he says there's no movement toward making a deal at this time.