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Two More Defendants Arraigned in Slaying of Gold Company Owner’s Wife

Two men — charged along with two others in the 2008 slaying of the estranged wife of a gold trading company owner in a Century City parking garage — pleaded not guilty today to murder and conspiracy charges.

Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Hilleri G. Merritt ordered Steven Vicente Simmons, 21, and Gabriel Jay Marquez, 45, to remain jailed without bail.

The two, who were charged June 11, are due back at the downtown Los Angeles courthouse on Friday. A date could be set then for a hearing to determine if there is enough evidence to require them to stand trial in the July 28, 2008, stabbing death of Pamela Fayed.

The murder charge includes the special circumstance allegation of murder for financial gain and murder by means of lying in wait, which could bring a death sentence.

Fayed’s estranged husband, James M. Fayed, 47, and another man, Jose Luis Moya, 49, were charged in September 2008 and subsequently ordered to stand trial on the same counts.

Prosecutors have not yet decided whether to seek the death penalty against them.

The criminal complaint against the original two defendants alleges that Fayed paid Moya about $25,000 between Jan. 1 and July 28, 2008, “to arrange the murder’ of his wife.

The complaint also alleges that a Suzuki sport utility vehicle rented by Fayed and his gold trading company, Goldfinger Inc., on July 3, 2008, was driven 25 days later to the Watt Tower parking garage in Century City, where the victim was killed by someone who entered the SUV.

The SUV seen at the crime scene was driven by “persons’ to Fayed’s ranch in Ventura County, and returned by Moya to the rental car company a day after the killing, according to the complaint. – CNS

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