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Man Had Wife Killed to Cut Divorce Costs: DA

By Deanne Katz, Esq. on February 07, 2013 | Last updated on March 21, 2019

A California man hired two hit men to kill his wife to avoid the high cost of divorce, prosecutors allege. Nearly nine years later, Magdi Girgis has now been charged with murder.

Police always suspected Girgis in the stabbing death of Ariet Girgis, his estranged wife, at her home in Westminster in 2004.

But until Friday, prosecutors didn't have enough evidence to link Magdi Girgis to the crime.

Girgis, a physician, has been charged with planning his wife's murder and hiring at least one man to carry it out.

His purported goal was to avoid the high costs of divorce, according to the Orange County District Attorney's Office. Girgis had also allegedly assaulted Ariet; he was afraid he'd lose his medical license if convicted of felony domestic violence.

Too bad hiring a hit man is also a felony.

Make no mistake, any involvement in a crime can get you in legal trouble. If you help plan or commit a crime, you can be charged as an accomplice to the actions.

What Girgis allegedly did by planning the murder with someone is also conspiracy, a separate charge from being an accomplice to murder.

Additionally, Girgis is being charged with false imprisonment, the OC Register reports. That's because during the murder, his son was bound, gagged, and locked in a closet by the intruders.

It doesn't matter that Girgis didn't intend for that to happen. As an accused member of the conspiracy to kill his wife, he's responsible for anything that happened during the commission of the aleged crime. That includes potential responsibility for his son being locked up.

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