Food Network Star Convicted of Hiring Homeless Men to Kill His Wife for $500

Keep New Times Free
I Support
  • Local
  • Community
  • Journalism
  • logo

Support the independent voice of Miami and help keep the future of New Times free.

This morning, when I first heard that a Food Network star had been arrested and sentenced to jail, I figured that either Rachael Ray or Guy Fieri had finally been charged with prostitution. Instead I find out that the crime is much more severe and that the passion it takes to make a great chef can also turn a rising star into a convicted murderer

Juan-Carlos Cruz, who rose to celebrity chef status as host of the Food Network show, Calorie Commando, has just been sentenced to nine years in prison for hatching a murder-for-hire plot against his wife, attorney Jennifer Campbell. 

Cruz was arrested earlier this year when a homeless man told police Cruz had attempted to pay him $500 to murder Campbell. The cops then set up a videotaped sting and caught the shifty chef making arrangements for his wife's demise. 

Campbell was unharmed and sat in the front row of the courtroom during the trial. Cruz pleaded no contest and will probably only serve half of his nine-year sentence.

*TMZ reports that the first of the homeless men to turn Cruz in, died of a brain hemorrhage months ago. 

Keep Miami New Times Free... Since we started Miami New Times, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Miami, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Miami with no paywalls.

We use cookies to collect and analyze information on site performance and usage, and to enhance and customize content and advertisements. By clicking 'X' or continuing to use the site, you agree to allow cookies to be placed. To find out more, visit our cookies policy and our privacy policy.


Join the New Times community and help support independent local journalism in Miami.


Join the New Times community and help support independent local journalism in Miami.