A strange twist just came to light in that case involving former TV chef Juan-Carlos Cruz’s and the allegations that he hired homeless men to kill his wife. Cruz, who is being represented by my friend and former law partner, Shawn Holley-Chapman, may seek to justify his actions as a mercy killing to assist his wife in ending her own life. According to CNN:
Two sources close the couple, who asked not to be identified because of the sensitivity of the matter, said their 20-year struggle to have a child overwhelmed them. After spending a lot of money on unsuccessful fertility treatments, Cruz’s wife, Jennifer Campbell, was “very depressed and talked about suicide,” one source said.
The sources suggested that she may have wanted to end her life but that as a devout Roman Catholic, she believed suicide was a sin.
The failure to have a successful pregnancy was “pretty overwhelming thing in their lives,” the second source said. The source closest to Campbell said she still loves her husband despite his arrest. The source would not comment on whether she was aware of the alleged planning before his arrest.
The source closest to Cruz, 48, said he was “nothing but a loving and devoted husband.”
CNN was unable to talk Cruz or Campbell directly. The prosecution and police would not comment on the case. Their choice of lawyers may indicate how close Cruz and Campbell remain. Cruz hired Shawn Chapman Holley to defend him, and Campbell is represented by Blair Berk. The lawyers are good friends and have worked together on other high-profile cases. Holley is Lindsay Lohan’s lawyer in the actress’s current criminal case. Berk was Lohan’s previous attorney.
Cruz, arrested a week ago, remained behind bars pending a $2 million bond payment. A preliminary hearing has been set for June 23.
The criminal complaint filed Monday accused Cruz, 48, of trying to hire David Carrington and David Walters — homeless men who go by the street names Little Dave and Big Dave — to murder Campbell. It was not immediately clear who was Little Dave and who was Big Dave. If convicted, Cruz could get life in prison, a prosecution spokeswoman said.
Assistant Deputy District Attorney Joseph Marcus would not talk about the case, but the homeless men who allegedly were solicited to carry out the hit spoke with celebrity news and gossip website TMZ on Saturday. One of them called Cruz “very meticulous” but “very cheap” in his planning. The plan fell apart when one of the men whom Cruz allegedly recruited told Santa Monica police, Sgt. Jay Trisler said.
This is going to be fascinating to watch this case develop. If anyone can pull off this novel and creative defense, it will be Shawn.