A Missouri man was recently awarded a $2 million settlement after he sued the Lincoln County sheriff’s department for wrongfully convicting him of murder.
The sheriff’s department in Lincoln County, Missouri, recently agreed to settle a lawsuit with a man who was wrongfully convicted of murder for $2 million. Unfortunately for the man, Russell Faria, he had to spend three years behind bars before his conviction was overturned. Shortly after an insurance company agreed to pay Faria the money, one of his attorneys, Joel Schwartz, said he is thrilled with the decision.
Faria was arrested back in 2011 after his wife, Elizabeth Faria, was killed. He was “convicted and sentenced to life in prison.” However, during this arrest and conviction, Russell continuously “insisted that the crime was committed by his wife’s friend, Pamela Hupp.” Hupp pushed back against the claims and was never charged in Betsy’s murder.
A few years after his arrest, Russell’s conviction was overturned and during a retrial in 2013, he was found not guilty. Shortly after, he filed a lawsuit alleging he was “arrested without probable cause, that police fabricated evidence and failed to investigate Hupp.” What happened, though? Why did the police think Mr. Faria murdered his wife in the first place? Well, according to court records, Mr. Faria found his wife murdered back in December 2011 from multiple stab wounds. Before her death, she had been fighting cancer. According to reports, she had been “stabbed an estimated 55 times.”
The interesting thing is that days before Betsy’s death, Hupp had “been named the new beneficiary of a $150,000 life insurance policy.” She was also allegedly the last person to see Betsy alive. Then, in 2016, she was “convicted of killing a mentally disabled man and is now serving life in prison without parole.” The man she shot and killed in August 2016 was 33-year-old Louis Gumpenberger. She killed him at her home, and in 2019 she “entered a plea that didn’t admit guilt but acknowledged that prosecutors had enough evidence for a conviction.”
The case itself was a bit off because she “staged a fake kidnapping to divert attention from herself in a re-investigation of the Faria killing,” according to prosecutors. Prosecutors added that she drove around “St. Charles County, claiming to be a producer for NBC’s Dateline in need of help reenacting a 911 call.” She ended up recruiting Gumpenberger, who had mental and physical disabilities. From there, she took Gumpenberger to her home and called 911. While on the phone, she shot Gumpenberger, “claiming that Gumpenberger had kidnapped her at knife-point.” However, during the investigation, her claims fell apart quickly and she was arrested for the murder.