Husband arrested in 2004 Westminster killing

05 Feb
orange county bail bonds

Photo of Ariet Girgis, 55 yrs., slain in her home on Sept. 29, 2004.

WESTMINSTER – The husband of a woman who was stabbed to death and nearly decapitated nine years ago was arrested over the weekend in connection with the cold-case killing.

After developing additional leads, Westminster police said they arrested Magdi Girgis, who was convicted in February 2005 of beating his wife, Ariet Girgis, a victim of what police called an apparent contract killing.

Police have not released further details surrounding the arrest. A press conference at the Westminster Police Department is scheduled at 4 p.m. Tuesday.

Online court records show that a Magdi Girgis, 60, was arrested Sunday and remains in custody Monday. A Tuesday court date was scheduled.

The brutal murder happened about 3:40 a.m. on September 29, 2004, when Ariet Girgis was home with her 17-year-old son, Ryan. Two men tied up the teen in his closet, one guarding him while the other killed his mother, police said.

A few minutes later, Ryan heard a car drive away and was able to break free and call police, police added.

Police said the intruders slashed Ariet Girgis’ throat, nearly decapitating her.

According to online court records, Magdi Girgis was sentenced to five years of formal probation and one year in jail for his guilty plea in February 2005 of spousal battery and attempting to dissuade a witness.

Ariet Girgis had complained in court that her husband violated a court order to stay away from her and that he threatened her in an attempt to get the charge dropped.

Senior Deputy District Attorney Kevin Haskins said the slashing death of Ariet Girgis and the domestic-violence case were two unrelated events, according to previous City News Service report.

Additional arrests in the case are imminent, and a total of $55,000 in reward money is still being offered, police said.



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