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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."

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."


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17.. is the most ridiculous comment I have ever read, so if you want to hire a hit on someone just find someone with a criminal record and you won't be responsible because "they have broken the law and that takes aya any right they have to involve themselves in another's legal process." What kind of ****ed up world are you living in? Chapman is an idiot she should have done her job. Plus he confessed. Case closed move on.. you all watch too much law and order.

1408 days ago


You people are sick f**** to even think this is okay. Common sense tells you when someone says "I'll give you treats for the dogs so they don't bark and alert her" and "don't let her scratch you and get your skin under her nails" this woman didn't ask her husband to kill her. If you think that you are a dumbass. He even said himself he wanted to put her out of her misery. She didn't ask for this. OMG she hasn't changed her status of facebook!!! That must mean she wanted her husband to hire someone to kill her. Seriously?? Like she's thinking about her status on FB at a time like this. If she had begged and begged this from him and he agreed (which would still make him sick and very guilty. and you all sick for thinking it's okay because you like him), then he would have only agreed to have it done fast and pain less. Not, "Well, it's okay if you have to leave a bloody mess but, I wish you wouldn't" "JUst strangle her with panty hose if you have to" I wish people had to pass an IQ test to post here.

1408 days ago


Nice payoff to a homeless man. How many homeless men do you know wear a nice, NEW, leather jacket?

1408 days ago



1408 days ago

en Todo Momento!!    

i mean come on. any 'big hollywood connected clebrity-aspirant' who is gonna blatantly go and OPENLY!! request to some nameless, meaningless, homeless dude to murder his friggen wife is apparently trying something more shady than simply planning to murder his wife. cuz obviously, he could and most likely would have had the homeless dude arrested immediately, if he had agreed!!! if the homeless dude had accepted his offer, i am sure, for whatever who know what reason, this whorephucker would have ran to the cops and had the homeless guy thrown in jail for the REST OF HIS LIFE!! unlike the hollywood boy who only got 9 years.....if even....probably gonna git out a whole lot sooner.

1408 days ago

en Todo Momento!!    

yeah, cuz if you murder someone (especially a female.....) ON PUBLIC roads/streets, ALL property value diminishes. but if you murder her INDOORS!! INSIDE OF AN APARTMENT OR HOUSE, then only the property value of that particular house decreases....see?? these college boys got the do down to the 't'. also known as: 'save the community'..geeze i love these kinds of people...

1408 days ago

en Todo Momento!!    

the dude and his 'production team' were probably trying to create a new type of hidden camera reality tv-show, cuz all these food and cooking shows were getting too boring, thus not enough money for they probably were gonna try to create some mass hysteria image of the 'serial killer for hire homeless people' panic, which could apply to all major cities in and outside of the usa. now that is big money right there. and shuns homeless people even more so than they are today, plus necessary elimination if desired. i'm telling you, these folks are a lot smarter than you think.

1408 days ago

Ben from Baltimore    

Classic LA celebrity justice. When there is a celebrity suspect, you can bet the bank that there will be a cover up and/or a plea deal. When celebs are sent to jail, they are released early every time with the same excuse-overcrowding. Look at Sheriff Lee Baca and LA Police Chief William J. Bratton for the roots of the problem. Love her or hate her, Shawn Holley and her client Shane Ickenroth are right.

1408 days ago

ms j    

let me set the record straight b/c i know first hadn what happened. first off simone hshay is a fine andhonest lawyer. she would not be stupid enough to keep info from the defense and jeapordize her reputation nor her job!! secondly, the defense team is suppose to have there own info on witnesses it is NOT the DA's job to help their case when the burden is on them to prove a case. shane ickeroth is a dirty low life liar. simone shay has helped him and has been nice to him and his lying girlfriend and for them to say these lies is an outrage. he was never hidden anywhere in the courtroom at anytime!! and if TMZ has any decency, they would know that all these homeless people werent evn needed since they had this no good selfish husband on audio and video and he confessed. i know ms shay personally and i know these lies are very upsetting to her but she is strong and WILL NOT allow these lies to keep her from beingone of the best DA's at LAX!! what we should ask is how much TMZ paid shane and his girl cheryl to say these things?!!

1406 days ago


I'm not sure where the obstruction is supposed to have occurred. The three homeless men are the very basis of the states case and the defense knew all about them. Since when is the DA's office responsible for updating the defense via twitter everytime they hear a rumor regarding the whereabouts of other witnesss in the case, all of whom are known to the defense. There is no precedent for that.

This article alleges a "cover-up," and "obstruction of justice." Homeless people can babble all they want to anything, you don't have to print every random thought that enters their heads. Amazing how many people jumped on that wagon.

1405 days ago


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1402 days ago
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