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BREAKING NEWS: TV Chef Juan-Carlos Cruz Officially Charged In Murder-For-Hire Plot

May. 17 2010, Published 3:59 p.m. ET

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Former Food Network chef/host Juan-Carlos Cruz was officially charged Monday with trying to hire a hit man to murder his wife, can report.

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Cruz, 48, is charged with attempted murder and solicitation of murder. He is scheduled to be arraigned Monday afternoon at the Airport Branch Courthouse in Los Angeles.  At that time, he is expected to plead not guilty. Prosecutors say they will ask that bail be set at $2 million.

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TV Chef Arrested In Murder Plot

Investigators say the celebrity TV chef approached two homeless people along the trendy Third Street Promenade in Santa Monica, CA. hoping to find a hit man among them. The plan backfired when the homeless men tipped off cops.

Law enforcement launched a week-long undercover operation and arrested Cruz last Thursday at a local dog park.

According to the criminal complaint, the intended target was Cruz's wife -- his former high school sweetheart Jennifer Campbell.

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Cruz gained fame as the host of the Food Network's Calorie Commando. In addition, he hosted Take It Off (now titled Weighing In). He was also the pastry chef at the Hotel Bel Air in Los Angeles.

At this time, police have not revealed a motive for the alleged crime, and if convicted, he could face life in prison.


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