12:50 PM EDT 07/06/2014

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Juan-Carlos Cruz

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Former TV Chef Gets Nine Years for Murder Plot

Former TV Chef Gets Nine Years for Murder Plot

Originally posted 12/13/2010 03:30PM

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.

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Credit: Santa Monica Police Department/AP
Food Network Chef Pleads No Contest to Soliciting Wife's Murder

Juan-Carlos Cruz of Food Network Pleads No Contest to Soliciting Wife's Murder

Originally posted 10/26/2010 03:45PM

After his arrest in May, neighbors expressed shock and disbelief that Juan-Carlos Cruz, a churchgoing Catholic and well-known pastry chef who once had his own TV show, would want anyone dead, much less his wife.

But on Tuesday, the former Food Network star pleaded no contest in a Los Angeles court to soliciting two homeless men to kill his high school sweetheart, Jennifer Campbell, an attorney. The plot was thwarted by police, and Campbell wasn't hurt.

Although Cruz didn't admit wrongdoing, his plea has the same legal effect of a guilty plea. Cruz, 48, now faces nine years in state prison at his sentencing hearing set for Dec. 13.

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