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Jurors recommend death in 2008 murder-for-hire

May 31, 2011 12:00:00 AM PDT
Jurors on Tuesday recommended the death penalty for James Fayed, who was convicted in the murder-for-hire of his estranged wife in a Century City parking garage in 2008.

Fayed, 48, was found guilty on May 19 of first-degree murder and conspiracy for plotting to kill Pamela Fayed.

The jury of eight men and four women deliberated for three days before making a decision. One of the jurors told Eyewitness News that the jury was not unanimous at first in their decision, but after they deliberated a little bit longer, they were all in agreement that Fayed should be sentenced to death.

The couple's gold-trading business was the subject of a federal probe, and the two were involved in a bitter divorce at the time.

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 say James Fayed hired three men to kill Pamela Fayed, fearing she would cooperate with investigators and get half of the couple's marital assets in a divorce. They had a net worth of about $12 million.

Prosecutors also said James Fayed paid a confidante $50,000 to help execute the plan.

James Fayed will be sentenced on Sept. 22.

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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