Hope killed Stefano DiMera Friday January 8, 2016 by shooting him three times in the chest at the DiMera mansion. Though Hope, with Rafe and Roman's help, covered up Stefano's murder, Aiden planted a bug at SPD and overheard Hope and Rafe discussing Hope doing away with Stefano and the cover up. Initially, Aiden used the reveal to his advantage, hoping to get Hope back but when it didn't work, he backed off and gave her the recording. Somehow, Andre got a hold of a copy of the recording and aired it on the speakers at the Halloween party, forcing Roman to arrest Hope. A few weeks later, Judge Fitzpatrick gave Hope the maximum sentence of 25 years in prison with no possibility of parole.
In the Friday December 2 episode of "Days," Rafe and Shawn worked together in order to find evidence to exonerate Hope in Stefano's murder. They asked for access codes to Stefano's computer so they can check on his email to ensure they didn't miss anything.
Just when we thought the murder was cut and dry.
Stefano was frail and confined to his wheelchair, but it was never revealed what his condition was. Could Stefano have been dying? Could he have used Hope - goaded her into killing him so that he didn't suffer a long drawn out death? If this is a possibility, how would it play out? Could he have emailed somebody to discuss it? And even so, Hope still pulled the trigger. But Hope can't stay in prison forever, so how could she possibly be exonerated? Only time will tell.