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Man charged in estranged wife's 2004 murder in Westminster

February 6, 2013 12:00:00 AM PST
Detectives say they've solved a cold case crime with the arrest of an Orange County man accused of orchestrating a murder for hire plot to kill his estranged wife.

More than eight years after the bloody slaying of 55-year-old Ariet Girgis, her estranged husband has been charged with her murder.

Westminster police say 60-year-old Magdi Girgis has been a person of interest all along, but only recently did they uncover evidence to make an arrest. For the Girgis sons, the news is bittersweet.

"All along I knew he had something to do with it, so I'm just happy that justice is going to be served," said son Ryan Girgis.

Ryan Girgis says he can't stop thinking about the day his mother was murdered in their Westminster house. He was the only other person home when two suspects entered the residence in the early morning of Sept. 24, 2004. He was bound and gagged and thrown into a closet by one suspect while another entered his mother's room, slashed her throat and stabbed her repeatedly.

"She was a really sweet woman and did not deserve any of this at all," said son Richard Girgis.

Authorities say at the time of the killing, Madgi Girgis, a respiratory therapist, was facing charges of assaulting his wife. She had a restraining order against him and planned to divorce him.

Prosecutors say Girgis hired people to kill his wife in order to avoid paying divorce costs and to avoid a felony domestic violence conviction that would cause him to lose his medical license.

If convicted Madgi Girgis faces life in prison and possibly the death penalty. Authorities say more arrests are imminent.

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