(CBS) - A former Food Network chef was charged with attempted murder and solicitation of murder for allegedly soliciting two homeless men to kill his wife.
Juan-Carlos Cruz, 48, pleaded not guilty during an afternoon court appearance at the Airport Branch Courthouse in Los Angeles, and was ordered to remain jailed in lieu of $2 million bail.
Cruz, who hosted "Calorie Commando" and "Weighing In," was arrested Thursday by Santa Monica police and booked on suspicion of solicitation to commit murder, police said.
According to Santa Monica police, they were contacted May 7 by two men who said Cruz had hired them to kill someone.
"The individuals who were solicited agreed to assist the Santa Monica Police Department in the investigation," during which detectives learned the murder-for-hire method, the time and place the intended victim was to be killed and the terms of payment, Santa Monica police Sgt. Jay Trisler said.
TMZ.com reported that Cruz paid the men half of the $1,000 he promised for the job and gave one of them a box containing a box cutter, disposable cell phone, gloves and a pocket watch.
Police and prosecutors have not provided any possible motive for Cruz wanting to put out a hit on his wife, Jennifer Campbell.
Neighbors told the Los Angeles Times that Campbell, an attorney, and Cruz were high school sweethearts.