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Man convicted in 2008 wife murder-for-hire plot

May 23, 2011 12:00:00 AM PDT
The co-owner of a gold-trading company was found guilty Thursday of murdering his estranged wife in 2008.

James Fayed, 48, was found guilty of first degree murder and conspiracy for plotting to kill Pamela Fayed.

Prosecutors said James Fayed paid three men $25,000 to kill his wife at a parking structure in Century City. The couple's gold-trading business was the subject of a federal probe. The two were involved in a bitter divorce at the time.

Prosecutors say James hired three men to kill Pamela, fearing she would cooperate with investigators and get half of the couple's marital assets in a divorce.

Pamela Fayed was attacked from behind and stabbed 13 times as she approached her car in a parking garage at Watt Tower on July 28, 2008.

Prosecutors are seeking the death penalty against James Fayed. The jury was scheduled to begin deliberations on the death penalty for Fayed Friday at 10:30 a.m.

On Monday, both the prosecution and the defense rested their cases. Fayed did not testify in the penalty phase of his trial.

Closing arguments were scheduled to begin Tuesday at 10:30 a.m.

The three men charged in the killing are awaiting trial separately.

The alleged killer, Steven Vicente Simmons, 22; the alleged getaway driver, Jose Luis Moya, 51; and the alleged lookout, Gabriel Jay Marquez, 46, each face life in prison without the possibility of parole if convicted.

City News Service contributed to this report.

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