Westminster- An arrest has been made regarding the September 2004 murder of 55-year-old Ariet Girgis. Her husband, 60-year-old Magdi Girgis, was arrested and charged with hiring hit men to murder his wife in order to avoid a costly divorce.
Just days before she was killed, Ariet had testified against Magdi for domestic violence (he was convicted after her death). In the early morning of September 24th, 2004, Ariet was home alone with her 17-year-old son Ryan when two intruders allegedly entered her home, and attacked her in her bedroom, where they slit her throat and stabbed her multiple times. One of the intruders found Ryan in his room and later bound, gagged, and forced him into a closet. After several minutes, Ryan heard a car drive away, broke free of his bonds and called the police.
Magdi was arrested on February 1st, 2013 without incident and is being 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 is being held without bail. Potential sentencing enhancements for murder for financial gain and murder to prevent testimony could be added to the list of felonies as well.
Magdi planned the hit not only to avoid a costly divorce, but to also avoid a felony domestic violence conviction that would have eventually stripped him of his medical license. Magdi was considered a person of interest since the start of the investigation.
“He wanted to keep all his money to himself,” said Sonia Balleste, a senior deputy district attorney prosecuting the case.
The couple’s sons, Ryan and Richard, have expressed their relief of the case finally coming to an end. In an interview with CBS, Ryan said “I share good memories with (my father) in early childhood. (But) all along, I knew he had something to do with it.”
If convicted, Magdi faces a minimum sentence of life in prison without the possibility of parole. He is also eligible for the death penalty.
A $50,000 reward is offered by the California Governor’s office, plus an additional $5,000 pledged by The Carol Sund/Carrington Foundation, for information leading to the arrest and conviction of a suspect(s) in this case.
Anyone with additional information related to this incident is asked to contact WPD at (714) 898-3315, Supervising District Attorney Investigator Randy Litwin at (714) 347-8492, or Orange County Crime Stoppers at 1-855-TIP-OCCS or online at www.occrimestoppers.org.
San Francisco Chronicle- OC Man Accused of Hiring Hit Men to Murder Wife
Orange County Register- Husband Charged with Murder in 2004 Westminster Stabbing
Huffington Post Los Angeles- Magdi Girigs Allegedly Hired Hit Men to Murder Wife to Avoid Costly Divorce