Former TV Chef Gets Nine Years for Murder Plot

Juan-Carlos Cruz, former Food TV Chef, Sentenced in Murder Plot
Michael Germana/Everett Collection

12/13/2010 AT 03:30 PM EST

Former Food Network chef Juan-Carlos Cruz was sentenced Monday to nine years in state prison for engaging in a plot to kill his wife.

Cruz had pleaded no contest in October to soliciting two homeless men to murder his high-school sweetheart, Jennifer Campbell, an attorney. The plot was thwarted by police, and Campbell wasn't hurt.

Cruz, 48, was ordered to serve half his prison term before he is eligible for parole, said Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Chester Horn. He also must pay $1,870 in restitution.

The former Hotel Bel-Air pastry chef was arrested in May following an investigation into allegations that he offered the men $500 to commit the crime.

Police set up a sting operation and videotaped Cruz arranging the murder with the men, including driving one to his apartment and showing him how to access the secure building.

Cruz found fame in 2004 as host of the Calorie Commando, a healthy cooking show in which the chef was challenged to create low-calorie versions of comfort food. The program ran for two years.

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