(This story is written by Missourinet St. Louis contributor Jill Enders)

ST. CHARLES COUNTY, Mo.- Convicted killer Pamela Hupp will spend the rest of her life in state prison for the 2016 murder of a mentally disabled man in St. Charles County, in a case that’s drawn national media attention.

Crystal Conn, Louis Gumpenberger’s sister, speaks outside the St. Charles County Courthouse on August 12, 2019 (Jill Enders photo)

St. Charles County Circuit Judge Jon Cunningham handed down a life sentence without the possibility of parole to the O’Fallon woman today, for the killing of Louis Gumpenberger. Hupp told police she shot him in self-defense.

Hupp initially pleaded not guilty in 2017; however, she changed that in June to an Alford plea to avoid the death penalty.

In June, Hupp entered an Alford plea to first degree murder and armed criminal action.

An Alford plea is essentially a plea where the defendant maintains innocence, but admits the state’s evidence would likely result in a guilty verdict in a jury trial.

Investigators have long said that Hupp lured Gumpenberger in a bizarre plot to frame Russ Faria, who was previously convicted of his wife’s murder in Lincoln County, which is north of St. Charles County.

Hupp was a key witness in Faria’s trial. Faria attended Hupp’s sentencing today at the St. Charles County Courthouse.

“She’s evil incarnated and she deserves to go away for the rest of her life,” Faria told reporters after the sentencing.

Faria was later acquitted, after he received a new trial.

Missourinet’s Jill Enders reports Hupp appeared to be laughing in court, prior to today’s sentencing.

“She’s been manipulative the whole way, she wants everybody to believe that she’s still in control. She lost control, and she’s never going to have control again,” St. Charles County Prosecutor Tim Lohmar told reporters, after the sentencing.

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