New evidence in the cold case shooting death of California prison guard, Elizabeth Wheat Begaren, has resulted in the arrest of three men, including her husband.
Nuzzio Begaren is accused of orchestrating the slaying of his wife, who was shot to death on January 17, 1998, after stepping out of the family minivan on the East Street off-ramp of the 91 freeway. Begaren claims he was driving with his wife and 10-year-old daughter when he noticed four gang members in an Oldsmobile sedan following him. He said the gang forced him off the freeway, robbed him of $4,700 in cash and shot his wife when they saw her Department of Corrections badge.
Detectives were immediately suspicious of his story, especially after they learned the couple had been recently married and that he had taken out a $1 million life insurance policy on his new bride. Begaren also had a prior felony conviction for domestic violence on a previous wife, and would not cooperate with the investigation into his wife's death.
Begaren is now charged with Conspiracy to Commit a Crime and Murder with special circumstances of Murder for Financial Gain and Robbery. The other two men have been similarly charged.
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