Update: Of course this story gets weirder, the more details come out. For one, Juan-Carlos Cruz claimed that he hired two men to kill his wife not for the normal reasons, say, insurance fraud or temporary insanity or complete marital dysfunction, but for love. “Even though I was planning on whacking her, I'm very devoted. I know that's weird,” Cruz told police when he was arrested. Cruz reportedly wanted to spare his wife the continued pain of childlessness. Right.

The former television chef, who was planning on attending a party for his latest cookbook, “The Love Diet,” as his alibi, further demonstrated his nice guy qualities by showing concern that his dogs not be harmed, and by giving the would-be-hit-men dog biscuits to keep the dogs quiet during the murder. The whole idea for the crime, Cruz told police, came from a mystery novel. Imagine how much fun Law & Order: Los Angeles is having with this story, probably as we speak.

For the original post, published December 13th, turn the page. And for Dennis Romero's story in The Informer, click here.

Juan-Carlos Cruz, formerly the Food Network's “Calorie Commando” host, was sentenced to state prison today, the District Attorney's office announced.

Cruz was arrested in May by Santa Monica police for soliciting two homeless men to kill his wife, Jennifer Campbell, a 47-year-old attorney. Cruz, who had offered the men $500, pleaded no contest in October.

Before Cruz was on the Food Network, he worked as a pastry chef at the Hotel Bel-Air, where he eventually ballooned to 280 pounds. He subsequently lost 100 pounds on the Discovery Health Network's “Body Challenge” show. “Calorie Commando” completed the chef's transition from pastry chef to low-calorie guru, a job he can perhaps revisit while in prison.

Airport Superior Court Judge H. Chester Horn sentenced Cruz, 48, to nine years in state prison. One count of attempted murder was dismissed at sentencing.

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