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Food Network Host To Plea Bargain in Murder-for-Hire

7/19/2010 7:00 AM PDT BY TMZ STAFF

The former Food Network host accused of putting a hit out on his wife is close to a plea bargain, and best case scenario for him ... he could end up with probation.


Juan-Carlos Cruz is accused of hiring 3 homeless guys to slash his wife's throat with a pair of box cutters.

TMZ broke the story ... alleged victim Jennifer Campbell was suicidal over not being able to have a baby.  But suicide is a mortal sin in Campbell's religion, so authorities believe Cruz was attempting to execute a murder/suicide out of mercy.

Law enforcement sources tell us Campbell is solidly supporting her husband, and police and prosecutors have compassion for the couple.   We're told there have been active plea bargain negotiations and it's possible a plea could be reached before Tuesday's hearing ... though we're told it's going to be hard to work out all of the details before then.

We're told the likely disposition of the case is that Cruz will plead no contest to solicitation of murder and the attempted murder charge will be dropped. 

The sentence for solicitation of murder is anywhere from 9 years in prison to probation.  One source familiar with the case tells TMZ the likely dispo is 1 year in jail followed by probation. 

We're told the couple plans to stay married.

We'll be in court Tuesday.


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Tiger lost another tournament, Man I bet he wishes he can get his hands on some Poly Max Extremes again and Rachel.Come on TMZ follow up on it Rachel got 10 million to shut up.

1526 days ago


Just what the hell do your comments have to do with the story posted above, Rick? Instead of spamming web blogs, post something constructive.

Back to the story at hand: This is a sad story and if the wife was complicit in this "suicide...err, suicide" plot, then the husband does not deserve to serve jail time for this. If anything, the husband was attempting to assist in a suicide, not solicitation of murder. I say that authorities should look into committing the wife to involuntary mental treatment, as well as the husband.

There are all sorts of people that cannot have children(hey hello to me), yet these people do not attempt to kill themselves. These people adopt children, use science to fix the problem, or thank God for the wonderful gift of not having to participate in a "Are you my daddy?" game.

1526 days ago

Sin D    

Montezuma<<<< Right On! I too am tired of these spam monkeys. Let's all do our part to rid the boards of these parasitic cretins. Yea this is a weird story with the homless for hire a bad Lifetime movie.

1526 days ago


This story is so sad, at least the part we know about.

1526 days ago


More foolishness from the American "justice" system. Those homeless men would be murderers if they went through with this. This is not normal behavoir and he needs to spend some decent time behind bars. His wife also if she was involved. LOL to people who follow religions without asking questions or being informed. So many sheep.

1526 days ago


If this story is true (and the husband didn't manipulate the wife to say this) both these souls need counseling, how desperate could people be? Their church pastor should be asked to sit in on some counseling sessions to explain how a murder/suicide is not the answer. Perhaps the pastor might learn something him/herself.

1526 days ago


look jut how freakin screwed up our justice system is... lindsay lohan is going to prison for missing a couple of dui classes and this guy is going to walk! r u kiddin me? not that lindsay lohan should or shouldn't go to prison but come on.

these people both need mandatory theraphy and the husband needs to go to prison for hiring 3 people to kill his wife! my God no wonder the rest of the world laughs at our politics.

prosecutors have way too much power - to pick lindsay to go to jail (AT OUR EXPENSE) and let this piece of crap walk proves it!

1526 days ago


still bothers me that I read Oprah was trying to get this guy for her show...rather than the ethical homeless guy who was probably desperate for cash and went to the cops

he's the hero in all of this and no reward for him at all

Jennifer Campbell at least should try to track him down and do a little something special for him-he just might have saved her life

would be nice if she already has

1526 days ago


Pam, you're an idiot. Stop crying over Lindsay...she needs serious help and a HUGE wake-up call!! A couple of years in jail away from her "friends" would probably save her life. And apparently, you didn't read all of the blog entry...the wife wanted to die. I do agree they should be in mandatory therapy...both of them are is suicidal and the other is stupid!

1526 days ago


Lindsay isn't going to prison. She's going to jail. BIG difference.

Sad about Juan Carlos. He was actually pretty darn funny on Body Challenge.

1526 days ago


what the hell ????? WHAT is "compassionate" about getting someone killed by using a boxcutter on their throats ????????

1526 days ago


Has this lady ever heard of adoption
Just because she cant physically be a mom or some thing is wrong on his end
Doesnt mean there are not millions of kids out there that need adoption
I think they both should be lock in jail because if they are so selfish they cant save children in need they would rather die
No church has made adoption a sin
And if they are both so selfish they cant help children who need it then they both should be in a prison

1525 days ago


These two nut jobs need some serious help. They were afraid to offend God by committing suicide and tried to hire three unfortunate homeless men to commit murder. What the Hell? Seriously!
The beauty of Religious interpretation.

1525 days ago

Just another reader    

Isn't it lovely that the prosecutors are COMPASSIONATE! WTF!!

1514 days ago


Assuming the story to be true, that the wife was involved in the plot, they should both be paying the well as being required to go into heavy psychiatric care. She doesn't have a terminal disease, she's not going to spend the rest of her life on life support as a drooling vegetable. What kind of sick puppy commits suicide because they can't have a child? I know it was sad news for this couple but something is fundamentally wrong with your thinking when you're so focused on one task in life that you can't see the potential you have for a full, happy life.
And she's not the only sick one. Any normal man would have sought mental health care for a suicidal wife, not assisted her demented plan. Not when there was no understandable reason for her wanting to end her life. Honestly, all I can think is maybe the story isn't true, maybe she had nothing to do with this and for some bizarre reason is supporting the man who tried to have her killed.

1499 days ago
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