Spouse of American Airways govt Jamie Religion charged with protecting for his killer

The assailant launched a flurry of bullets, hanging Jamie Religion 3 times within the head, 3 times within the chest and as soon as within the groin. Then the particular person attacked Jennifer Religion, she claimed, duct-taping her fingers and hanging her whereas she was on the bottom.

When she screamed for assist, the particular person allegedly sped away in a black Nissan pickup sporting a particular “T” sticker. Jamie Religion, an information-technology director for American Airways, was pronounced useless on the scene.

“I’m not speculated to be widowed at 48, you understand?” Jennifer Religion instructed WFAA via tears after the Oct. 9 killing. “I simply hope that sooner or later, possibly this particular person can acknowledge the gravity of what they’ve accomplished and really feel some type of guilt, sufficient to return ahead.”

However that expression of agony could have hid a darkish secret, Jeffrey Boshek II, particular agent in control of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms’s Dallas Discipline Division, mentioned Thursday in a press release.

“Typically,” he mentioned, “issues simply aren’t what they appear.”

Jennifer Religion is now charged with obstruction of justice after federal prosecutors accused her this week of serving to the alleged killer to hide the crime. Her emotional information interviews about her husband had been merely “cowardly makes an attempt to make the most of the media to hide her involvement” within the killing, officers alleged.

Within the days after the taking pictures, Jennifer Religion destroyed textual content messages she had exchanged with the suspect and urged him to take away the “T” sticker from his truck, a felony criticism says. Prosecutors consider Religion had been having a “full-blown emotional affair” with the person, Darrin Ruben Lopez, whom she had dated in highschool and faculty.

An legal professional for Religion, To Shook, rejected what he characterised because the criticism’s clear implication that Religion had helped to plan her husband’s killing. Religion described the shooter to police intimately, gave them entry to the household’s safety digicam and turned over her telephone containing texts referencing her affair with Lopez, he mentioned.

“These aren’t actions of somebody that’s serving to in murdering her husband,” Shook mentioned.

However Lopez’s legal professional, Juan Carlos Sanchez, blamed Religion for the killing.

“We consider Mr. Lopez to be a great man with a army background which will have been manipulated Jennifer Religion and prompted him to behave underneath some perception that she was in some form of hazard,” Sanchez mentioned in an e mail.

A search of Jennifer Religion’s cellphone shortly after the killing confirmed that she had a strained relationship along with her husband and was having an affair with Lopez, 48, the criticism says. She and Lopez had damaged up years earlier when he was deployed to South Korea, she allegedly texted to somebody in April. Now he was residing in northwest Tennessee, and he had discovered her once more.

“So, I do not know when I’m going to have the ability to speak to you over the telephone, however I’m just about having a full-blown emotional affair,” Religion wrote in a textual content message, “and Jamie is aware of it.”

Religion later claimed to the identical individual that she had “put the brakes” on her affair with Lopez as a result of it had been hurting her husband.

A number of weeks after the killing, prosecutors say, Religion and Lopez determined to delete lots of the textual content messages between them. However a later dialog pulled from Lopez’s telephone confirmed the pair discussing the killing of Jamie Religion, 49.

Jennifer Religion allegedly instructed Lopez that she was nervous as a result of she had simply referenced the “T” sticker — for Texas Rangers — on the suspect’s getaway truck in an interview with WFAA.

“So, I awakened in slightly little bit of a panic,” she allegedly wrote to Lopez on Dec. 3. “One thing is consuming away at me telling me it’s worthwhile to take the sticker out of the again window of the truck.”

“I’ve been engaged on that sticker slightly at a time when the truck is right here,” Lopez replied, in keeping with the criticism. “Attempting to get it off wanting like it’s sporting off.”

Three days later, Lopez allegedly circled again.

“Sticker accomplished,” he texted to Religion.

The night earlier than Religion was set to fulfill with police once more, she instructed Lopez to not textual content her that day so she may delete all of her messages and set off a manufacturing facility reset on her telephone, the criticism says. Then she allegedly recommended that they lie if police inquired about their relationship.

“If requested about you, you might be an previous buddy going via a divorce,” Religion wrote, in keeping with the criticism. “We speak each evening as a result of I’m serving to/giving help with the women since you could have sole custody. If it ever involves it, I’ll reply the identical method about monetary additionally…..divorce killing you financially, so I’m serving to out the place I can”

A number of seconds later, she added: “Simply so that you and I’ve the identical explanations”

Unbeknown to Religion, investigators had collected proof that they believed pinned the killing on Lopez: He owned a black Nissan with residue the place the “T” sticker would have been. Debit card transactions and GPS knowledge recommended that he was touring to Dallas on the day earlier than the killing. And his telephone pinged off cell towers between Dallas and his house on the day after.

Federal brokers arrested Lopez on Jan. 11 as he stepped out of a automotive pushed his daughter. Now in custody in Dallas, he’s charged with homicide, in state courtroom, and transporting a gun throughout state traces to commit a homicide, in federal courtroom.

“Jennifer Religion’s persona in non-public was very completely different from the grieving widow she portrayed in public via the media,” prosecutors wrote within the criticism in opposition to her. Her “conduct was a calculated try and hinder the felony investigation into the homicide of her husband and her actions considerably interfered with the administration of justice.”

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