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Former Television Chef Charged with Attempted Murder

Former Television Chef Charged with Attempted Murder

Food Network's former Calorie Commando host, Juan-Carlos Cruz, was arrested last Thursday for hiring homeless men to murder his wife, attorney Jennifer Campbell. 

Cruz allegedly approached three homeless men in Santa Monica and offered them $1,000.00 to commit homicide for him.  Cruz gave the men ten $100.00 bills that had been ripped in half, saying he'd give the other halves of the bills when the job was finished.  Cruz also gave them a cell phone, which has texts from Cruz saying that he has backup hit men lined up if the three of them were to back out. 

The three men informed the city's homeless liaison officers of the solicitation, giving a detailed description of how, where and when the homicide was to take place.  Investigators launched a weeklong undercover operation in which one of the homeless men, nicknamed Big Dave, agreed to wear a wire while speaking with Cruz regarding the hit.  The investigation ended with Cruz's arrest in a Cheviot Hills dog park on Thursday.

Cruz has been charged with two felony counts including one count of attempted murder and one count of solicitation to commit murder.  He has plead not guilty to both counts and will be back in court on June 23 for the preliminary hearing.  His bail has been set at $2 million.

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