MAN ARRESTED AND CHARGED WITH 2004 SOLICITATION OF WIFE’S MURDER

For Immediate Release
Case # 13CF0340


February 5, 2013

Susan Kang Schroeder
Chief of Staff
Office: 714-347-8408
Cell: 714-292-2718

Farrah Emami
Spokesperson
Office: 714-347-8405
Cell: 714-323-4486

 

 

MAN ARRESTED AND CHARGED WITH 2004 SOLICITATION OF WIFE’S MURDER

*Additional arrests are imminent and a $55,000 reward is offered in this case

 

WESTMINSTER – A former respiratory therapist facing felony domestic violence charges has been arrested and charged with the 2004 solicitation to murder his wife prior to trial to avoid paying divorce costs and losing his medical license from a felony conviction. Magdi Girgis, 60, Westminster, is charged with one felony count of special circumstances murder, one felony count of conspiracy to commit murder, and one felony count of false imprisonment by violence, and sentencing enhancements for murder for financial gain and murder to prevent testimony. If convicted, he faces a minimum sentence of life in state prison without the possibility of parole and is eligible for the death penalty. Girgis is being held without bail and is scheduled for continued arraignment March 15, 2013, at 8:30 a.m. in Department C-55, Central Justice Center, Santa Ana.

 

Girgis was arrested Feb. 1, 2013, by the Westminster Police Department (WPD), who investigated this case. Senior Deputy District Attorney Sonia Balleste of the Orange County District Attorney’s Homicide Unit is prosecuting this case.

 

Case Background

Prior to the murder, Magdi Girgis is accused of having a pending domestic violence case against him related to assaulting his wife, 55-year-old Ariet Girgis. A restraining order was issued, Ariet Girgis intended to divorce the defendant, and Magdi Girgis is accused of moving out of the couple’s Westminster home.

 

The defendant, then a respiratory therapist, is accused of planning to murder the victim because he wanted to avoid the cost of a divorce and did not want to lose his medical license by receiving a felony conviction. As a result, Magdi Girgis is accused of soliciting at least one person to murder his wife.

 

A few days prior to Sept. 24, 2004, Ariet Girgis testified in a preliminary hearing in the domestic violence case.

 

In the early morning hours of Sept. 24, 2004