On the morning of October 9, 2020, 48-year-old Jennifer Faith and her 49-year-old husband, James Faith, were walking their dog in a Dallas neighborhood when James was shot multiple times and murdered in the street. At around 7:35am those in the neighborhood heard a blood-curdling scream and found James Faith in a pool of his own blood in front of a neighbor’s house on South Waverly Drive in North Oak Cliff, Dallas. The victim sustained three bullets to the head, three to the chest and one to the pelvis. The weapon used was a .45 calibre handgun. James Faith was pronounced dead at the scene.
The man’s wife told police that they only got a few feet from their front door when her husband was shot. She claimed she was then hit by the attacker and bound at the wrists with duct tape before the attacker made a failed attempt to rob her of her jewellery. She said she had heard the attacker running up to them from behind but did not recognize him as he was wearing both a hooded sweatshirt and a face mask. The only facial features she could see were his eyes, which she said were dark. Witnesses described the assailant as driving a black Nissan pickup truck with a white Texas Rangers “T” sticker on the rear bottom left window.
The couple had celebrated 15 years of marriage the day before James Faith was killed. Those who knew him described him as a kind man and the two had a child together.
Jennifer Faith pleaded on local news interviews for her husband’s killer, or anyone with information leading to the arrest of the attacker, to come forward. In an interview with WFAA news Faith said:
“I just hope that at some point, maybe this person can recognize the gravity of what they’ve done and feel some sort of guilt, enough to come forward. My hope is that someday, perhaps the person will realize the gravity of what they’ve done and what they’ve taken from myself and my daughter. He was just the backbone of our family. It was just devastating.”
Police obtained access to Faith's home security footage and cell phone after she signed a consent to data extraction and discovered text and call-based communication between the victim’s wife and her ex-boyfriend.
Two months later in December 2020, Jennifer Faith’s high school and college boyfriend, Darrin Rubin Lopez, 48, was arrested in connection with the murder. The pair had dated throughout school until Lopez joined the military and was deployed to South Korea. They lost touch after that.
An investigation into Lopez revealed that he had been communicating constantly with Jennifer Faith from late September to Late October. A total of 14,363 instances of text messages and calls were exchanged, wherein plans to murder Faith’s husband were discussed. Many of the incriminating texts had been deleted in an attempt to cover up the murder plot. The texts stopped just before James Faiths murder.
Lopez was charged with murder as well as charges of transporting a weapon over state lines to commit a felony. His bail has been set at $1 million dollars. Jennifer Faith was arrested on January 11, 2021 on federal charges of obstructing the course of justice by claiming not to recognize her husband’s killer.
Although Jennifer Faith denied any physical involvement with Lopez, she did not deny being in contact with him and the calls and messages were said to be romantic in nature. The pair had discussed how they could eventually be together and came up with a five-year scheme. On the day of James murder, Lopez made the 650-mile trip from Cumberland Furnace, Tennessee to Dallas and lay in wait for the couple to pass before running up behind them and executing James Faith with several shots.
Text messages show that Jennifer Faith and Darrin Lopez discussed what they would do in the event they got caught as well as how to minimize suspicion: “If asked about you, you are an old friend going through a divorce” Faith said in one message. They came up with a story that Lopez was leaning on Faith, an old friend, while going through a divorce from his wife. Faith said, if asked, they should both have the same answers, that she was being a shoulder to cry on and supporting him with money here and there as divorce is costly and he also had custody of his two daughters. She suggested they both delete all messages regarding their plans to murder her husband and said she would perform a factory reset on her phone before having a meeting with police.
She advised Lopez to remove the sticker from the back window of his truck on December 3, 2020, which he did. She also encouraged him to dispose of the murder weapon. Investigators looked at Lopez’ truck where they noticed a sticker had recently been removed from the back window. His phone was also recorded as travelling to Dallas from North West Tennessee on the day of James Faith’s murder.
Jennifer Faith's attorney argued that Faith was not involved in a plot to murder her husband, adding that she cooperated with police by handing over her cell phone and security tapes. Lopez' attorney argued that Lopez had been manipulated by his ex-girlfriend to carry out the murder because he believed Jennifer was in harm’s way.