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Celebrity chef Juan-Carlos Cruz arrested for soliciting murder

By Stephanie Dearing     May 21, 2010 in Crime
Los Angeles - Juan Carlos Cruz, a celebrity chef and Food Network host is being held in jail for allegedly soliciting murder -- of his wife, Jennifer Campbell.
48 year old Juan-Carlos Cruz is being held at a Los Angeles jail pending payment of $2 million bail. While his wife, Jennifer Campbell is said to standing firmly by her man in spite of the charges, no one has posted bail for the chef who once hosted two shows on the Food Network; Calorie Commando and Weighing In. Cruz is facing two charges, one of soliciting murder and another of attempted murder. Cruz was arrested on May 17, said the Los Angeles District Attorney's Office in a press release. The Santa Monica Police Department, who arrested Cruz after two homeless men contacted them saying Cruz had attempted to hire them to murder someone. The Santa Monica Police press release states "On May 13, 2010, at 12:30 p.m., officers from the Santa Monica Police Department arrested Juan-Carlos Cruz for solicitation to commit murder.
On May 7, 2010, officers with the Santa Monica Police Department’s Homeless Liaison Program were contacted by homeless individuals who were solicited by the suspect to kill an individual. The individuals who were solicited agreed to assist the Santa Monica Police Department in the investigation. The results of the investigation revealed the murder-for-hire method, where and when the individual was to be killed, and the terms of payment.
The intended victim has been notified. The identity of the victim is being withheld at this time due to the ongoing nature of the investigation."
Rumours about Cruz's alleged behaviour are rampant. However, none has been confirmed and the police investigation is still ongoing.
One story floating around celebrity gossip land, and pushed by CNN, says that Cruz and Campbell were at the ends of their ropes after 20 years of trying unsuccessfully to have children. Campbell is allegedly suicidal over her inability to conceive, but being a strict Catholic, the rumours go, Cruz was trying to help her out by having someone kill her. The other part of this story is that Cruz would somehow kill himself after his wife was offed by his hired thugs.
Another story, put out by the Associated Press, implies Cruz might have been set up, citing a colleague who said Cruz was devoted to his wife.
Although the Food Network had benefited from a relationship with the chef in the past, the network was quick to put distance between itself and Cruz, although Cruz's recipes from his shows are still available online.
When arraigned on May 17th, Cruz pled not guilty. His next court date is June 23, said UPI.
If found guilty, the chef could be imprisoned for the rest of his life.
Cruz has not hosted on television for at least four years. The former pastry chef attained fleeting fame after cooking himself thin and sharing his recipes for weight loss with viewers on the Food Net
More about Juan-carlos cruz, Soliciting murder, Celebrity chef, Food network
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