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Sentencing delayed for man convicted in wife's murder-for-hire plot

Sentencing for a gold trader convicted of masterminding the 2008 murder of his estranged wife in Century City has been postponed.

September 22, 2011 12:00:00 AM PDT
Sentencing for a gold trader convicted of masterminding the 2008 murder of his estranged wife in Century City has been postponed.

The date was pushed back to Nov. 17 after lawyers said they needed time to review motions and file replies.

Jurors recommended the death penalty for 48-year-old James Fayed May 19 when he was convicted of first-degree murder and conspiracy for plotting to kill Pamela Fayed nearly three years ago.

Fayed paid one of his employees and three gang members $25,000 to kill his wife. The two were going through a bitter divorce at the time, and he feared his wife would cooperate with a federal investigation into their international gold trading business and get half of the couple's marital assets. They had a net worth of about $12 million.

Pamela Fayed, 45, was fatally stabbed 13 times in a Century City parking lot in July 2008. While in jail as a prime suspect in his wife's killing, James Fayed confessed his guilt to his cellmate and also divulged a plot to kill his accomplices to clean up the mess.

The cellmate, who was cooperating with authorities, recorded the entire conversation, which was replayed at Fayed's trial. The recording was a key piece of evidence that led to Fayed's conviction.

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.