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Wednesday, April 7, 2010 as of 11:14 AM ET

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  • TV chef Juan-Carlos Cruz to be charged with hiring homeless to kill wife, report says


    A former television chef suspected of recruiting homeless men for a murder plot is set to appear in a Los Angeles courtroom.

    Arraignment is scheduled Monday for Juan-Carlos Cruz, who once hosted the show “Calorie Commando” on Food Network.

    Santa Monica police say homeless people told the city’s homeless liason that Cruz approached them on the street and offered them money for a killing.

    Police say they notified the intended target, but they have not released the person’s identity.

    The website TMZ is reporting that Cruz will be charged with hiring the men to kill his wife, and that he will plead not guilty.

    Once a pastry chef from LA’s Hotel Bel Air, Cruz gained fame promoting lowfat cooking after he slimmed down himself, and authored “The Juan-Carlos Cruz Calorie Countdown Cookbook.”

    The 48-year-old was arrested Thursday and booked on suspicion of solicitation to commit murder. He was being held on $5 million bail.

    - The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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