Boyfriend Hitman Murder Trial: Timeline details elaborate murder-for-hire plot

Posted at 7:53 AM, July 26, 2023


DALLAS (Court TV) — A retired Army sergeant is on trial for his alleged role in an elaborate murder-for-hire plot, in which he claims he was manipulated into killing his long-distance girlfriend’s husband.

Darrin Lopez, 51, is charged with the murder of Jamie Faith, an American Airlines executive, who was gunned down outside his Dallas home in October 2020 while walking his dog with his wife, Jennifer.

At first, police believed the shooting to be a random act of violence. Jennifer initially told police she didn’t know or recognize the masked attacker.

Jennifer Faith and Darrin Lopez prom picture

Jennifer Faith and Darrin Lopez at their high school prom. (Photo by: Court documents obtained by Court TV)

But prosecutors said not only did she know him, he was her ex-boyfriend from high school and college. The pair had reconnected after 26 years in (with) a long-distance relationship, comprised of texts and emails, and later defined by Jennifer as a “full-blown emotional affair.”

In 2022, after pleading guilty to her role in her husband’s murder, details of Jennifer and Darrin’s rekindled romance were unsealed in court documents, later obtained by Court TV. 

According to federal prosecutors, Jennifer used two phoney email accounts, posing as her husband and one of her friends, to communicate with Lopez. The emails convinced Lopez that she was being physically and sexually abused by her husband.



1997 – Jennifer’s only daughter, Amber, is born.

1998 – Jennifer divorces Amber’s father and marries her second husband.

1999– Jennifer’s second marriage is short-lived, they divorce after 9 months.

2005: Jennifer and Jamie meet on a blind date. Amber is 7 years old.

2005: Darrin Lopez sustains a traumatic brain injury in Iraq, following the detonation of a roadside bomb that killed 19 soldiers in his unit.

June 2012: Jennifer and Jamie Faith get married in Las Vegas, according to Jennifer’s 2020 email to Lopez. 

March 2016: Jamie adopts Amber and (she) legally takes his last name.

2018: Lopez and his wife separate.

Feb 6, 2020: Jennifer buys a Valentine’s Day LoveBook for Jamie, thanking him for her wonderful life with him.

Mar. 17, 2020: Lopez makes first contact in an email to Jennifer, saying he’s been tracking her down slowly since January 2020 on social media. He talks about his life, reminisces on their past, and tells Jenn she helped him through his 20 years in the Army, including joining Special Forces and being on the front lines since 9/11.

Read Darrin’s email: Hello from your long lost friend…

Mar. 17, 2020: Jennifer replies to Lopez, catching him up on all the details of her life over the years.

“Wow. My head has been swimming since I read this email this morning. You made my day, month, year, and possibly decade in reaching out to me and saying such nice things. Thank you.”

Read email: Jennifer’s first reply email to Darrin

They continue to exchange emails, texts, calls sometimes hundreds of times per day – right up until the week of Jamie’s murder.

Jamie and Jennifer Faith

Jamie and Jennifer Faith (Court TV)

April 11, 2020: Lopez begins receiving messages from a fake email account Jennifer made pretending to be her husband Jamie, detailing physical and sexual abuse (purportedly) inflicted on Jennifer. The emails also include close-up photos of bruises and bloodied lips, which were later determined to be stock images.

Read email: Lopez replies to Jamie

April 11, 2020: Lopez writes (to) Jamie’s Gmail, saying he won’t leave Jennifer alone because he’s concerned for her safety.

April 11, 2020: Jennifer forwards a fake email exchange between her and Jamie’s fake account to Lopez about starting a vegan meal plan.

May 8, 2020: Jamie emails Lopez about a “gang bang.”

May 9, 2020: Jamie writes Lopez about multiple sex partners. Later that same day, Jamie’s email sends a close-up image of a knife wound to a person’s neck and says, “Good stuff. Enjoy knowing you can’t do a f****** thing about it.”

Court documents obtained by Court TV stated the neck wound image was actually from a car wreck Jennifer was involved in eight years earlier in Phoenix, Arizona.

May 13, 2020: Jennifer creates a second fake email account pretending to be a friend, who Lopez begins regularly emailing for help with the domestic abuse situation. He discusses going to the police, but is persuaded against it, fearing further abuse to Jennifer by Jamie.

August 2020: Jennifer contacts Lopez by cell phone, asking him to kill her husband.

black Nissan truck

Black Nissan truck with distinctive “T” decal (Photo by: Court documents obtained by Court TV)

Oct. 9, 2020: Jamie Faith is murdered. According to prosecutors, Lopez, who drove from Tennessee to Dallas, shot Jamie seven times before fleeing the scene in a black Nissan Titan pickup truck, which had a distinctive “T” decal on the back window. First responders pronounced him dead at the scene.

November 2020: Jennifer admitted she initiated a claim with Metropolitan Life Insurance Company seeking approximately $629,000 in death benefits Jamie had through his employer. She periodically updated Lopez on the status of the claim. In text messages, the pair discussed using the money to apply for a residence in her name in Tennessee.

January 2021: Shortly after she was asked to come in for questioning by investigators, Jennifer reached out to Lopez to coordinate their cover stories, she admitted in plea papers.

January 10, 2021: Text message from Jennifer to Lopez:

“Don’t text me Monday. I am going to factory reset my phone on Sunday night after deleting texts,” she wrote.

“Ok, sounds good,” Mr. Lopez responded. “Big hug.”

Jan. 11, 2021: ATF agents arrest Lopez on murder charges in Cumberland Furnace on Jan. 11, 2021. The firearm used to kill Jaime was recovered inside Lopez’s home.

Feb. 2, 2021: Jennifer contacted a third party and asked that a message be forwarded to Lopez, who was in custody at the time in Dallas.

“I am with him, will always be with him regardless of whatever has happened. I’ve needed to be cautious, because every communication is being monitored,” the message read in part. “Please tell him ASAP I will always be his.”

February 2021: Prosecutors charge Jennifer with obstruction of justice. In September 2021, they add a charge of use of interstate commerce in the commission of murder-for-hire, an offense that carries a potential death sentence. 

October 19, 2021: Jennifer wrote a handwritten letter to Lopez after court documents outlined the email scheme: 

“Just a quick note to say I never lied to you and I never sent you emails from any account but mine, as me,” she said. “There is a ton more I wish I could say, but I can’t right now.”

June 21, 2022: Jennifer pleaded guilty in February and was sentenced to life in prison by U.S. District Judge Jane J. Boyle, who also ordered her to pay $6,500 in restitution to her late husband’s family to cover funeral expenses and a $250,000 fine.

July 24, 2023: Jury selection begins in the murder trial of Darrin Lopez, who has pleaded not guilty to the Texas murder charge.

The jury can consider evidence of mitigation and recommend a sentence. If convicted of murder, Lopez faces a sentence range of five to 99 years, and a fine of up to $10,000. If Lopez is found guilty of murder in the 2nd degree. The sentencing range is 2 to 20 years.

To watch and follow the daily trial updates, click here.

Grace Wong, Tiffany Smith and Emily Kean contributed to this reporting.