TV Personality Accused in Murder-for-Hire Scheme

The man is accused of soliciting the homeless to commit murder, according to police

By Olsen Ebright and Jack Noyes
|  Monday, May 17, 2010  |  Updated 7:18 AM PDT
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TV Personality Accused in Murder-for-Hire Scheme

Santa Monica Police

Juan-Carlos Cruz

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A suspect has been arrested in an alleged murder-for-hire scheme involving the homeless, according to Santa Monica police.

Juan-Carlos Cruz, of Los Angeles, was arrested Thursday on suspicion of solicitation to commit murder, police said Friday.

Santa Monica Police spokesman Jay Trisler Friday night said Cruz  is a television personality.  At one time Cruz appeared on the Food Network on "Calorie Commando" and  "Weighing In".

Police allege that Cruz propositioned homeless individuals to kill an unnamed person. Those solicited alerted the authorities on May 7, and agreed to help with an investigation, according to the Santa Monica Police Department.

TMZ.com reported that Cruz paid the men half of the $1,000 he promised  for the job and gave him a box containing a box cutter, disposable cell phone,  gloves and a pocket watch. TMZ.com also reported that he plans to plead not guilty.

The identity of the intended victim has not been released.

Bail was set for Cruz at $5,000,000, according to police.

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