Former Food Network Host Sentenced to 9 Years in Prison for Putting Hit on Wife

Juan-Carlos Cruz - Food Network Killer Chef - 2010 PR shot
Courtesty of Food Network

Juan-Carlos Cruz allegedly gave a homeless man dog treats to ensure his pooches wouldn't bark during the crime and asked him to strangle his high school sweetheart with pantyhose so it wouldn't turn into a "bloody mess."

A former Food Network host, Juan-Carlos Cruz, has been sentenced to nine years in prison for hiring a homeless hit man to kill his wife.

According to court papers obtained by the Los Angeles Times, Cruz, who once hosted Calorie Commando and Weighing In, gave the homeless man dog treats to keep his pooches from barking during the crime, and asked him to use pantyhose to strangle her so there wouldn't be a "bloody mess."

But Cruz was unaware the man, David Carrington, was cooperating with Santa Monica Police. Cruz also approached a second homeless man, David Walters, about committing the crime.

According to the court papers, on May 12, Cruz "asked Walters to strangle the victim and to use pantyhose to strangle her if he wanted, and said something to the effect of, 'If it ends up bloody, that's fine ... but I prefer not to have a mess."

Cruz's attorney Shawn Chapman Holley did not comment to the Times.

Cruz claimed the motivation behind the attempted murder of his wife Jennifer Campbell, his high-school sweetheart and a Los Angeles attorney, was a mid-life crisis and frustration that a decade worth of fertility treatments, costing $200,000, did not work. He thought it would be a "a 'merciful' way to end her suffering" before Mother's Day.

Another homeless man alleges a cover up in the case to

Shane Ickenroth, a homeless man who is a key witness, says he called the prosecutor, Simone Shay, in August to tell her a witness named Big Dave had died of cancer and Carrington had been arrested in California and extradited to Colorado for another unrelated felony sexual assault case.

Ickenroth says Shay told him, "Don't say anything about it.  It could still mess up the case while it was going on." He also claims one of the two detectives on the case told him to keep quiet, and when he tried to attend the court hearings, he was put in a private room by the prosecutor so he couldn't speak to anyone.

Shay admits to TMZ: "I did not tell him not to speak to anyone. The two witnesses not being around would not damage the case so it is not as if it were important."

Shay's supervisor, Head Deputy District Attorney John Lynch, tells TMZ: "There was plenty of other evidence to score a conviction, including a videotaped confession and wiretaps." Lynch added, "She did not have to tell Shawn [Chapman Holley].... If I am negotiating with a defense attorney I would have mentioned it."

An outraged Holley says she was never informed about the two Daves. "If these allegations are true, then the conduct of Ms. Shay and the Santa Monica Police Department is outrageous, unethical and highly improper -- if not an outright obstruction of justice."

"For Ms. Shay to suggest that the two primary witnesses in the case are 'not important' would be laughable, if it weren't so dishonest," she adds.