Jury Recommends Death for Businessman in Murder-for-Hire Case

James Fayed, 48, was convicted of first-degree murder in the July 2008 slaying of his estranged wife

Jurors recommended a death sentence Tuesday for a gold trader convicted in his estranged wife's death nearly three years ago.

The Los Angeles Superior Court panel deliberated just over three days before returning its penalty verdict for James Fayed. He is set to be formally  sentenced Sept. 22 by Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Kathleen Kennedy.

Fayed, 48, was convicted May 19 of first-degree murder and conspiracy to  commit murder for the July 28, 2008, ambush attack on Pamela Fayed, who was  stabbed 13 times as she approached her SUV in a parking garage at Watt tower in  Century City.

The eight-man, four-woman jury also found true the special-circumstance  allegations of murder while lying in wait and murder for financial gain, which  made Fayed eligible for the death penalty.

The Fayeds were in the midst of a bitter divorce. The killing occurred  just after the two met with their criminal attorneys as a result of a federal  investigation into the couple's gold-trading business.

Prosecutors contended that Fayed contracted the hit on his estranged  wife because he believed the mother of two would cooperate with federal  investigators and because she could have ended up with half of the couple's  marital assets in a divorce.

Fayed has maintained his innocence throughout the case, according to one  of his attorneys, Mark Werksman.

Three other men charged in Pamela Fayed's killing are awaiting trial  separately.

Copyright CNS - City News Service
Contact Us