Investigators say Jennifer Faith urged her ex-boyfriend to destroy evidence and deleted incriminating text messages from her phone after the shooting death of her husband in October.
While her Oak Cliff neighbors were stunned by the seemingly random daylight shooting and doorbell videos showing a black pickup with a "T" on the rear window, investigators say, Jennifer Faith privately instructed Darrin Lopez to remove the "T" sticker from his truck.
Faith was arrested Wednesday and charged with obstruction of justice. She will make her initial appearance in federal court Friday. Her ex-boyfriend, Darrin Lopez, has been charged with murder in the death of her husband, James Faith, who was shot around 7:30 a.m. Oct. 9 while walking his dogs with his wife. Police say Lopez drove from Tennessee to Dallas to kill James Faith on the morning after the Faiths wedding anniversary.
"Even as she publicly claimed she was 'desperate for answers' regarding her husband's murder, Jennifer Faith was communicating with the alleged killer, actively urging him to destroy evidence and attempting to delete incriminating communications from her phone," U.S. Attorney Prerak Shah said in a statement. "Thanks to the dedication of our agents and officers, Ms. Faith could not keep law enforcement from identifying her husband's killer. Even so, we cannot allow her obstruction of justice to stand. We are determined to hold her accountable for her crime."
Jennifer Faith admitted to law enforcement in January that she spoke to her husband's accused killer on a daily basis but denied having an intimate relationship with him, investigators say: "An analysis of Mr. Lopez's cell phone, seized after his arrest on Jan. 11, revealed that Ms. Faith and Mr. Lopez were intimately involved. Ms. Faith used her cell phone to update Mr. Lopez on her efforts to collect on Mr. Faith's life insurance policy and to coach Mr. Lopez on how to respond to potential police questioning."
The U.S. Department of Justice released these text messages about the "T" sticker:
"So I woke up in a little bit of a panic something is eating away at me telling me you need to take the sticker out of the back window of the truck," she texted Mr. Lopez on Dec. 3.
"I don't want to just take it off all at once the girls would notice that," he responded thirty minutes later. "But I have been working on it."
"I have a bad feeling and I really think you need to get that sticker off ASAP .like today," Ms. Faith texted the following day.
"Sticker done," Mr. Lopez responded on Dec. 6, confirming he had removed the "T" sticker from his truck as Ms. Faith had instructed.
"Oh YAY!!! Thank you!!" Ms. Faith replied. "I feel SOOOOOO much better."
They also found messages where Jennifer Faith told Lopez that she was wiping her phone before she met with FBI investigators in January: "Don't text me Monday. I am going to factory reset my phone on Sunday night after deleting texts."
Despite the factory reset, investigators were able to retrieve the deleted texts.
She also coached Lopez on how to answer questions from law enforcement, the investigation found: "If asked about you, you are an old friend going through a divorce. We talk every night because I am helping/giving support with the girls since you have sole custody. If it ever comes to it, I'll answer the same way. Just so you and I have the same explanations. Just thinking in case they [law enforcement] pulled phone records and asked."
If convicted, Jennifer Faith faces up to 20 years in prison.