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ABC7 EXCLUSIVE: Murder-for-hire suspect caught on tape

November 28, 2011 12:00:00 AM PST
In an Eyewitness News Exclusive, James Fayed, a wealthy gold trader who hired hitmen to murder his wife, is caught on tape. Fayed, of Camarillo, received the death penalty for the murder of his wife earlier this month. Now evidence from the trial not aired before has been obtained by Eyewitness News.

Pamela Fayed was stabbed 13 times and her throat was slashed by three men who had been hired by her husband, James Fayed. During his trial, jurors got to see a key piece of video that led to his conviction.

Pamela Fayed was fatally stabbed in a Century City parking garage on July 28, 2008. She was walking toward her car when she was attacked.

Exclusive video obtained by Eyewitness News shows a scene from a courtyard outside of the parking garage moments after Fayed was attacked.

People reacted to blood-curdling screams, glancing up at the parking structure and moving in that direction. All but one person: James Fayed.

"Just about every single person in that video, every single pedestrian, turns their attention to where the screams, where the calls for help were emanating from, and began to migrate toward that building," said L.A. County Deputy District Attorney Alan Jackson. "There was one person who never turned his head, one person who never migrated in that direction, and that was James Fayed."

Jackson was the prosecutor in the murder trial of 48-year-old James Fayed, who in May was convicted of masterminding his wife's murder.

"He's the only one that turns his back, literally, to where the screams of his wife were emanating from," said Jackson.

Pamela and James Fayed had just met with their divorce attorneys before the attack.

Surveillance video from the parking garage shows the three suspects driving away in an SUV that had been rented by James Fayed's business.

Prosecutors said James Fayed hired three men to kill his wife because he and Pamela were in the middle of a bitter divorce, and because Fayed thought his wife was going to testify against him in an ongoing federal investigation into his gold-trading business.

James Fayed was arrested shortly after his wife's murder.

A jailhouse informant was able to secretly record Fayed talking about his wife's murder.

"I'm beginning to think it would've been cheaper to keep her," the informant can be heard saying on the secretly recorded audio tape.

"No," says James Fayed on the tape. "'Cause -- no, no, no -- she wouldn't listen to reason, dude. She wouldn't listen."

On the recording, Fayed also plots to hire a different hitman to kill the three men he had hired to kill his wife.

"But here's the proof you need. I just wrote it down on paper with my prints all over it," says Fayed on the tape.

"You want to throw it away, bro?" asks the unidentified informant.

"No, I want this cleanup to happen. I want the cleanup to happen, man. But you have to understand that I'm a little nervous," says Fayed. "If I'd only known you guys, if I'd only known you guys -- this is a long time. You know, if we'd only known each other a year, you know."

"The thing that makes James Fayed so incredibly dangerous is the fact that not only is he willing to contract for his wife's life, he's then willing, from behind bars, from inside a jail cell, to contract for the killers' lives as well. And that's what he thought he was doing," said Jackson.

The three suspects charged with carrying out the murder are all awaiting trial.

Earlier this month, a jury sentenced Fayed to death. Because of the extensive appeal process in California, prosecutors say James Fayed could spend the next 20 to 30 years on death row before ever being executed.

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