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Husband convicted of masterminding wife's fatal stabbing in Century City garage could face death penalty

May 20, 2011 |  9:00 am

Fayed The penalty phase of the trial is scheduled to begin Friday for a Ventura County businessman found guilty of orchestrating the fatal stabbing of his estranged wife in a Century City parking garage.

James Fayed, 44, could face the death penalty for hiring a worker from his Moorpark ranch to pull off the 2008 crime with the help of two recruited gang members. Pamela Fayed was stabbed 13 times by a hooded assailant who fled in a rented SUV, prosecutors said.

Fayed was convicted Thursday in Los Angeles County Superior Court of murder and conspiracy to commit murder. The trio of hired hands who allegedly took part in the plot face separate trials.

The key prosecution evidence in the case was a taped confession Fayed allegedly made to a jailhouse informant. Tapes of the alleged confession were played to jurors and included Fayed referring to his wife as a "money-grubbing" person who would not listen to reason.

Authorities said Fayed feared his estranged wife would cooperate with a federal investigation into the workings of their international gold-trading business, Goldfinger Inc.


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-- Jack Leonard

Photo: James Fayed in court. Credit: Al Seib / Los Angeles Times