Former TV Chef Pleads Not Guilty to Criminal Charge that He Attempted to Have His Wife Murdered

Chef, former Food Network personality, and cookbook author Juan-Carlos Cruz has pleaded not guilty to charges of attempted murder and solicitation to commit murder. Cruz is accused of trying to kill his wife Jennifer Campbell.

According to investigators, Cruz solicited two homeless men, David Walters and David Carrington, and tried to hire them to murder his kill Campbell. However, those close to Cruz are painting a different picture of the former TV host of the show “Calorie Commando.”

Two sources who know Cruz and Campbell say that the couple had been trying to have a child for 20 years. They even underwent fertility treatments that had proved unsuccessful. One of the sources said that Campbell had talked about killing herself but that as a Catholic she considered suicide a sin.

Another friend of Cruz’s, Amy Reiley, says the charges against him don’t make sense. Reiley is the co-author of Cruz’s book The Love Diet.” She told the Associated Press that in addition to having worked with him intensively for the last nine months she has known him for six years. Reiley describes Cruz as a doting husband.

Cruz was arrested after one of the homeless men that he allegedly approached told the authorities about their conversation. The chef remains behind bars in lieu of $2 million in bail. If convicted, Cruz could receive a lifetime prison term.

Former TV chef pleads not guilty to trying to have wife killed, Los Angeles TImes, May 18, 2010
Sources: Inability to have child behind TV chef’s murder scheme, CNN, May 19, 2010
Chef accused in murder plot seen as doting husband, AP/Google, May 20, 2010

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Juan-Carlos Cruz

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