TMZ

Our TV Shows

Got a Tip?

Call TMZ at (888) 847-9869 or Click Here

Cover-Up Alleged in Food Network Host's Plea Bargain

12/15/2010 12:00 PM PST BY TMZ STAFF

One of the key witnesses in the attempted murder case involving former Food Network host Juan-Carlos Cruz tells TMZ the prosecutor in the case engaged in a cover-up ... and Cruz' lawyer says it may be "an outright obstruction of justice."

1214_homeless_video_tmz_ex
Shane Ickenroth -- one of the three homeless men who Cruz paid to kill his wife -- tells TMZ he called the prosecutor, Simone Shay, last August to tell her bad news about the two other homeless witnesses -- Big Dave had died of cancer, and Little Dave (aka Dave Carrington) had been arrested in California and extradited to Colorado for felony sexual assault with physical force.

Ickenroth says Shay told him, "Don't say anything about it.  It could still mess up the case while it was going on."

Cruz cut a deal with the prosecutor and pled no contest to solicitation of murder and was sentenced Monday to 9 years in prison.

TMZ contacted Cruz' lawyer, Shawn Chapman Holley, who told us the prosecutor never informed her about Big or Little Dave. 

Ickenroth says one of the detectives in the case also told him to keep quiet about the two Daves.

And, Ickenroth says, he showed up several times in court but the prosecutor put him in a private room in the courthouse so no one could speak with him.

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

Shay would not comment as to why she never told Cruz' lawyer about the two Daves.

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]."  But Lynch did say, "If I am negotiating with a defense attorney I would have mentioned it."

Holley is indignant, telling TMZ, "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."

Holley goes on:  "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."


26 COMMENTS

No Avatar
1.

JLS    

Not exactly ethical. Ms. Holley reps LL. That qualifies her level of skill as a lawyer since LL gets off no matter what she does.

That doesn't mean I have to like this woman.

1345 days ago
2.

JLS    

Hiding pivotal pieces of info such as this is obstructing justice.

1345 days ago
3.

Real Man    

Who the hell are you nobody cares Mighty Mad and the spammers are more popular and make more sense than fake lawyer old hags like u go defend Mel Gibson

1345 days ago
4.

haroldelliot    

It might be early on in the process, but Im sure plea bargaining does exist. Its a useful ploy to not have to clog up the court system with endless 'not guilty' pleas because there is no advantage in declaring guilty unless you get something out of it.
http://radialabswarnings.com

1345 days ago
5.

who dat    

You guys at TMZ are always glowing on what a great lawyer SHC is. Haha you fools, yet another example she isn't. Any reasonable skilled lawyer would figure people who live on the street frequently die. Yet she never inquired as to their availability to appear.

So how about you all stop squaking on her skills and start seeing reality.

1345 days ago
6.

writenow    

Excecpt that he did it. And admitted it.

1345 days ago
7.

rhode    

Since he did this on his own WIFE'S request, I think there should be a probation for him considering this new information. Don't send him to prision for 9 years.

1345 days ago
8.

Edenn    

How did his wife request to be murdered..? Am I missing something about rhode's comment?

1345 days ago
9.

Vhw2867@Yahoo.com    

prove it

1345 days ago
10.

tellthetruth    

ANYONE WHO KNOWS CRUZ' WIFE, KNOWS THAT SHE WAS N O T SUICIDAL ABOUT CONCEIVING!!! I DO NOT KNOW WHY YOU GUYS HAVE CONTINUALLY LESSENED THE GRAVITY OF CRUZ' ACTIONS BY SAYING THAT HIS WIFE WAS SUICIDAL, IMPLYING THAT IT WAS OK FOR HIM TO HIRE A HIT ON HER.

SHE WAS N O T SUICIDAL!!!

HE HIRED A HIT FOR HIS OWN REASON, NOT OUT OF ANY ALTRUISM!!!!!

CHECK YOUR STORIES TMZ...NOT HARD TO DO.

1345 days ago
11.

rhode    

From TMZ VERY early in the case, 'Our law enforcement sources say the information police and prosecutors have "is absolutely clear" -- Cruz was trying to honor his wife's wishes by ending her life. He then planned on killing himself"'.
That might be the reason I have that stuck in my head. But he still should not have got the max of 9 years. Probation in this case is the most helpful for him and his wife.

1345 days ago
12.

awards    

Dealing with Lindsay dumbed down Ms. Holley!

1345 days ago
13.

westwood bark    

My husband and I were friendly with them when we lived in LA several years ago. They did appear to be a very loving couple. We were unaware of their fertility issues and desire for children, but they seemed incredibly devoted pet-owners, which I guess in retrospect could have served as substitutes. Anyone who has lived with and loved someone with depression knows how difficult it can be, particularly when all efforts to help have yielded nothing. While I think Juan's actions were tragically wrong, I can understand his desperation. And the singular fact that Jen has not taken any action to separate herself from him, (including her married status on Facebook) says more to me about the situation than anything I could read here on TMZ.

1345 days ago
14.

dd    

He got a good deal he could have gotten a much longer sentence.

1345 days ago
15.

karlew    

No big surprise. If you are charged with a crime the police and the prosecutor are your worst enemies in the world. They don't care if you're guilty or innocent, they don't care if there are extenuating cir***stances, they only care about their win/loss ratio. They do not serve justice only themselves, the police's motto may be "To serve and protect" but that only applies to them and their friends. I'm not sure about California but where I live there are rules of disclosure. The fact that two key witnesses were unable to testify or that their character might be compromised is exactly the type of information that has to be disclosed. They have broken the law and that takes away any right they have to involve themselves in another's legal process.

1345 days ago
| 1 | 2 | Most Recent | Next 15 Comments

Around The Web