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Wife appears in federal court on charge related to husband's killing; attorney speaks out

Jennifer Faith, 48, faces an obstruction of justice charge and was booked into the Dallas County jail Wednesday.

DALLAS — Jennifer Faith, the Dallas woman accused of playing a part in her husband's death, faced a federal judge Friday.

Jennifer, 48, faces an obstruction of justice charge and was booked into the Dallas County jail Wednesday.

On Oct. 9, 2020, Jennifer’s husband, James "Jamie" Faith, who worked as an IT Director at American Airlines, was shot three times in the head, three times in the chest and once in the groin on the morning that he was with Jennifer while walking their dog in Oak Cliff, the probable cause affidavit said.

Jennifer’s ex-boyfriend, Darrin Lopez, faces a murder charge in Jamie's death. Lopez is accused of driving from Tennessee to Dallas, then shooting Jamie multiple times outside the couple's home.

Detectives say Jennifer deleted implicating text messages and allegedly told Lopez what to tell police. She also instructed Lopez to remove the distinctive “T” sticker that was on his truck, which was described by witnesses on the scene, police said in a probable cause affidavit.

On Friday, Jennifer briefly appeared in federal court. The only time she spoke was to answer questions from the judge. She waived her preliminary and detention hearings and no next court date was set. 

Jennifer remains in federal custody.

Her lawyer, Toby Shook, talked to WFAA on-camera after Friday’s hearing, responding to the obstruction of justice allegation.

Court documents say during the month of the murder, Jennifer and Lopez exchanged more than 14,000 calls and texts.

“There’s thousands of them. So we need to get a complete picture. Obviously, we believe we have a defense," Shook said. "This murder case that’s intertwined – that’s a 41-page affidavit, which the Dallas detectives clearly believe that my client’s involved in the planning and murder of her husband, which I don’t believe the evidence shows that."

Shook pointed to the fact that Faith cooperated with police "right away," turned over her phone, and left text messages on it saying she was in an emotional affair. A criminal complaint released this week said detectives believe Faith deleted text messages from her phone before giving it to police.

Shook also said she had told her husband about the affair and wasn't going to leave him in August -- evidence he said was backed up by text messages.

RELATED: ‘Deleting texts’: American Airlines IT director’s wife in constant contact with ex before and after he was killed, affidavit shows

"There’s no evidence – I don’t believe that she planned or assisted Mr. Lopez in this murder at all," said Shook.

The probable cause affidavit said that in the deleted text messages, Jennifer and Lopez discussed Jamie's life insurance payout, of which she was a beneficiary. 

From Oct. 9 to Nov. 25, there was an average of 500 calls and text messages per day between the two phones, the affidavit said. Most of those communications were not on Jennifer's phone, the affidavit said.

Shook said that she gave a vivid description of the attacker, met with detectives and gave them video from her Ring camera.

Shook said those aren't the actions of someone who has planned or helped with "the murder of her husband."

In December, Faith did an on-camera interview with WFAA’s Alex Rozier. In it, she 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.”

In the interview, she urged people to let police know if they knew whose truck was seen in surveillance pictures.

RELATED: Wife of fatally shot American Airlines IT director arrested on obstruction of justice charge

“They mentioned that interview in the affidavit,” Shook said. “But again, her actions are not consistent with someone planning the murder. The district attorney’s office has been investigating, but they’ve chosen not to indict my client for murder. DPD has not arrested her, so I think that’s pretty telling that they’re lacking evidence of that. Right now, we’ll just deal with this federal charge. If that changes, we believe we have a good defense.”

No next court date was set in Friday's hearing.

“She’ll be in federal custody,” Shook said. “And they’ll have to go forward with indictment in the federal case. And then we will get dates set on moving towards a trial.”

Digital producer Eline de Bruijn contributed to this report.

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