'Monster' Gets Life in Prison for Killing Disabled Man She Tried to Frame for Murder

Pamela Hupp was sentenced to life in prison.
Pamela Hupp laughed and joked in the courtroom before her sentencing, according to reports. O'Fallon Police Department

A Missouri woman called "disgusting" and a "monster" has been sentenced to life in prison for killing a mentally disabled man she was hoping to frame for murder, authorities sad.

Pamela Hupp planted a knife and and a kidnapping note in the pocket of 33-year-old Louis Gumpenberger, whom she lured into her home and then shot to death, prosecutors said.

The 60-year-old woman enticed Gumpenberger into her car three years ago, claiming she worked for the NBC news series "Dateline" and offering him money to participate in a re-enactment, authorities said. 

Gumpenberger had been seriously injured in a 2005 car crash that left him mentally and physically impaired, his family said. He would have readily accepted an offer of extra cash, they said.

But once inside Hupp's home, the woman shot Gumpenberger as she called 911 to report a burglar. In his pockets, investigators found $900 in cash and a note with instructions on how to kidnap and kill Hupp, then collect $10,000 in "Russ's money."

Russ, investigators said, was a reference to Russell Faria, who had earlier implicated Hupp in the murder of Betsy Faria, his wife. The widower had been convicted, then later had his conviction overturned, in the 2011 stabbing killing of Betsy.

The victim was last seen with Hupp before her death and had recently named Hupp the beneficiary of her $150,000 life insurance policy.

Following her sentencing Monday, the victim's half sister said, "Hupp has done nothing but cause heartbreak and grief to so many families," said Krystal Conn outside court, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported. She also called Hupp a "monster," "disgusting" and a "serial killer."

Hupp's punishment was part of plea deal she entered to avoid the death penalty. She laughed and joked with her attorneys before her hearing began, according to reports.

St. Charles County Circuit Court Judge John Cunningham said Hupp had previously tried to lure two others into her car with the same ruse about being a TV news producer. 

Gumpenberger "was an innocent person whose life did not deserve to be extinguished by you," the judge told Hupp, according to the paper.

When summoning police to her home, Hupp said Gumpenberger had jumped into her SUV and attempted to abduct her with a knife. He chased her into her home, where she shot him in self-defense, she claimed. Gumpenberger, she asserted, was working at the behest of Russell.

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