James Fayed Gets Death for Masterminding Wife's Murder
James Fayed was found guilty of paying $25,000 to arrange the murder of his wife.
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James and Pamela Fayed (Photos: L.A. County Sheriff's Dept./DMV)
Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Kathleen Kennedy sentenced Fayed to death Thursday for masterminding the murder of his estranged wife, who was fatally stabbed at a Century City parking garage.
Judge Kennedy said in her ruling that James Fayed is a "cold, calculating human being."
Fayed was convicted earlier this year of murder and conspiracy to commit murder in the death of 44-year-old Pamela Goudie Fayed -- the couple had been engulfed in a bitter divorce battle over control of their multimillion-dollar gold-trading business.
Prosecutors claimed that Fayed was expected to be ordered to pay about $1 million in spousal support and attorney fees the day after Pamela Fayed was killed.
At the end of the trial, jurors found that Fayed, 48, paid $25,000 to have his wife killed.
Prosecutors say Fayed's employee, 50-year-old Jose Luis Moya, was paid to arrange the murder.
Moya allegedly recruited Gabriel Marquez, 46, of Ventura, who then hired 22-year-old Steven Vicente Simmons.
Pamela Fayed was attacked by a hooded assailant on July 28, 2008, shortly after meeting with her husband and their attorneys, who stabbed and slashed Pamela 13 times.
A red sports utility vehicle was seen speeding away from the bloody crime scene.
Prosecutors say video surveillance cameras captured the vehicle's license plates, which were registered to an Avis car rental office in Ventura County.
The credit card used to pay for the rental was found in Fayed's wallet when he was arrested.
A month before she was killed, Pamela Fayed had offered to help federal prosecutors in the criminal probe, according to court documents.