Southern California -- this just in

« Previous Post | L.A. NOW Home | Next Post »

Former Food Network TV chef pleads no contest to seeking murder of his wife

Juancarloscruz Prosecutors announced Tuesday that a former Food Network TV chef had pleaded no contest to soliciting two homeless men to kill his wife.

Juan Carlos Cruz made the plea at a preliminary hearing Tuesday. Under the deal, prosecutors dropped one count of attempted murder. He faces nine years in prison. He pleaded to attempted solicitation of murder.

Santa Monica police say Cruz, 48, of Westwood, asked homeless men to commit homicide for him. After one of the homeless men told police, investigators launched a weeklong undercover operation that ended with Cruz's arrest in a Cheviot Hills dog park.

Neighbors and co-workers told The Times it was difficult to reconcile the accusations of police with the man they had come to know — a devout churchgoer, community volunteer and doting husband.

A Knights of Columbus member who attended St. Paul the Apostle Catholic Church, Cruz was a dog owner who volunteered at Love on 4 Paws, a therapy program that provides animals to sick children.

Cruz's wife, Jennifer Campbell, his high-school sweetheart, worked long hours as an attorney, neighbors said. He was often seen walking the couple's two dogs outside the Westside condominium complex where they have lived for many years.

-- Andrew Blankstein

Photo: Juan Carlos Cruz in May. Credit: Al Seib / Los Angeles Times

Comments () | Archives (8)


Ain't love grand.

Seems to me that homeless people might not be the most reliable people in the world.
My morbid curiosity wants to know what was going on inside his mind to hate his wife so much to contract homeless to kill her...

Soliciting for a killer of his wife is a sure recipe for a long prison term.

Only nine years for hiring someone to kill your spouse? And he'll probably get out much sooner?

Sounds like a good deal to me.

its cheaper to kill the spouse than divorce them/ new take of 'until death do us part'.

A typical liberal!

He's a sick dog and should be put down with one shot.


Recommended on Facebook


In Case You Missed It...


About L.A. Now
L.A. Now is the Los Angeles Times’ breaking news section for Southern California. It is produced by more than 80 reporters and editors in The Times’ Metro section, reporting from the paper’s downtown Los Angeles headquarters as well as bureaus in Costa Mesa, Long Beach, San Diego, San Francisco, Sacramento, Riverside, Ventura and West Los Angeles.
Have a story tip for L.A. Now?
Please send to newstips@latimes.com
Can I call someone with news?
Yes. The city desk number is (213) 237-7847.


Get Alerts on Your Mobile Phone

Sign me up for the following lists: