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March 19, 2014

HUSBAND TO FACE TRIAL FOR 2004 SPECIAL CIRCUMSTANCES CONSPIRACY-MURDER BY SOLICITING MURDER OF WIFE

Filed under: California Defense Attorney — fayarfa @ 12:33 am

SANTA ANA – A husband will face a jury trial tomorrow for the 2004 solicitation-murder of his wife. Magdi Faiz Girgis, 61, 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. Opening statements are scheduled to begin tomorrow morning, Tuesday, March 18, 2014, in Department C-41, Central Justice Center, Santa Ana.

Co-defendant Anthony Edward Bridget, 40, is charged with one felony count of special circumstances murder, one felony count of conspiracy to commit murder, one felony count of aggravated assault, one felony count of false imprisonment by violence, and sentencing enhancements for murder for financial gain, murder by lying in wait, and murder during the commission of a burglary. If convicted, he faces a minimum sentence of life in state prison without the possibility of parole. Bridget is scheduled for a preliminary hearing June 20, 2014, at 8:30 a.m. in Department C-57, Central Justice Center.

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.

Magdi Girgis, 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. 29, 2004, Ariet Girgis testified in a preliminary hearing in the domestic violence case.

In the early morning hours of Sept. 29, 2004, Bridget and the other suspects are accused of entering Ariet Girgis’ home on Plum Street. Ariet Girgis and her 17-year-old son Ryan were the only family members in the home. Bridget is accused of binding and gagging Ryan and forcing him into a closet. At least one suspect is accused of murdering Ariet Girgis in her bedroom using a sharp object. Bridget and the suspects then fled the scene.

After several minutes, Ryan heard a car drive away from the house, broke free of his ties, and immediately reported the crime to Westminster Police Department (WPD). Officers responded to the 911 call and discovered Ariet Girgis had been murdered.

Magdi Girgis was convicted in the domestic violence case after the murder of Ariet Girgis (Case #04WF0321).

Following a cold-case investigation, WPD detectives arrested Magdi Girgis on Feb. 1, 2013.

Senior Deputy District Attorney Sonia Balleste, formerly of the Homicide Unit and now Assistant Head of Court in the Juvenile Justice Center, is prosecuting this case.

Orange County District Attorney / Case # 13CF0340 & 13CF1025/ March 17, 2014

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