Food Network chef murder for hire case gets weirder

Wait, what?

Remember the story yesterday about Food Network star Juan Carlos Cruz and his bizarre plot to murder his wife by tempting homeless men with torn-in-half hundred dollar bills? Cruz supplied the men with ten of the half-bills and boxcutters and was eventually caught in a sting by police. Pretty straightforward, right? Boy meets girl, boy marries girl, boy accrues lots of cash being on TV and writing books and wants a cheap way to dispense of the responsibility?

Not exactly, according to some accounts today. “Sources” for ABC News say that Cruz’s wife Jennifer Campbell may have been well aware of the plot- it’s even supposed to have been partially her idea. It’s said that Campbell was “despondent” over decades of infertility and her inability to conceive a child. But as a devout Catholic, Campbell rejected the idea of suicide, spawning the plot Cruz allegedly hatched to kill her.

A legal analyst tells CBS News that even if Campbell was a participant in the murder scheme, it won’t get Cruz off the hook- if anything, it may make him easier to convict:

“It doesn’t really help the defense to have some kind of explanation for why you would want to commit a murder.”

Bloom continued, “If he solicited these homeless men for any reason to take the life of his wife, that’s going to be attempted murder and solicitation, which is exactly what he’s charged with. Now, the only way the defense could possibly use that as I see it is some kind of a diminished capacity: He was so distraught, he was so upset that he couldn’t form premeditation or first-degree murder. Might knock down to second-degree murder. But I think that’s a stretch.”

Even if Campbell was complicit- Cruz is said to have planned to commit suicide when the hit was complete- the Calorie Commando chef could face life in prison.