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Ex-TV chef sentenced to 9 yrs for murder plot

December 13, 2010 12:00:00 AM PST
A former celebrity chef who pleaded no contest to soliciting homeless men to kill his wife was sentenced to nine years in prison on Monday.Juan-Carlos Cruz smiled and winked at wife Jennifer Campbell during his sentencing appearance. Campbell was supposed to make a victim's impact statement but withdrew last minute.

Cruz appeared very relaxed and showed very little emotion as the judge read his sentence.

Defense attorney Shawn Chapman Holley told Superior Court Judge H. Chester Horn Jr. that Cruz is expected to serve half of the nine-year term because the crime was not a serious violent felony.

Cruz was the host of Food Network's "Calorie Commando." He was arrested in May after the homeless men confessed to police and agreed to help with the investigation. Detectives planted hidden microphones on the homeless men to record incriminating conversations with Cruz.

Cruz pleaded no contest to the charge back in October and as a result, an attempted murder charge was dropped.

Though prosecutors have not revealed a motive in the case, CNN reported that fertility issues may have been Cruz's motive to kill his wife. His wife had apparently been very depressed and talked about committing suicide.

Both attorneys involved in the case did not comment after the sentencing.

The Associated Press contributed to this story.


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