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Wife, lover to stand trial for prominent Toronto hairstylist’s murder in L.A.

Last Updated Sep 12, 2018 at 11:25 am EDT

The wife of an internationally-known hairdresser and the woman’s lover will stand trial for the death of her husband, who was found beaten and stabbed to death at a Los Angeles home earlier this year.

Monica Sementilli, 45, and Robert Baker, 55, were arrested in June in connection with the Jan. 23 slaying of Fabio Sementilli, originally from Toronto.

A grand jury indictment issued on Aug. 7, revealed the pair, already charged with murder, is also accused of conspiracy to kill the 49-year-old man.

Monica Sementilli was reportedly having an affair with Baker for about 18 months before her husband was killed. It’s alleged Monica Sementilli orchestrated the plot to have her husband killed. Baker and another man — who has not yet been arrested — allegedly carried out the slaying.

Police believe Fabio Sementilli had been killed for a $1.6-million life insurance policy. He had been stabbed several times in the face and body and was found bleeding profusely on the patio of his gated home in the upscale Woodland Hills neighbourhood. He died at the scene.

According to the indictment, Monica Sementilli made sure her eldest daughter would be out of the house at a babysitting job at the time of the murder — and she herself went shopping at Target and Ralph’s supermarket in Woodland Hills to establish her alibi.

Meanwhile, Baker and another man allegedly jogged up to the Sementillis’ home, went inside and saw Fabio Sementilli sitting on the back patio.

The court document says the two men attacked the victim from behind, and while stabbing him Baker cut his own finger. It’s alleged when he washed off Fabio Sementilli’s blood at the kitchen sink, he left his own blood behind.

The men attempted to stage a robbery and burglary in the master bedroom and, as part of the ruse, Baker took Fabio Sementilli’s Porsche 911 and parked it on a neighbourhood street, the indictment alleges.

Monica Sementilli reportedly waited for her youngest daughter to arrive home and find her father’s body before returning home herself.

It’s alleged Monica Sementilli then tried to make a claim on her husband’s life-insurance policy and called the Los Angeles Police Department several times to ask why the proceeds were being withheld.

Fabio’s sister, Mirella Sementilli-Rota, says the news has been overwhelming and an emotional roller coaster.

“The family is pleased to have an indictment,” she tells CityNews. “Our hearts are broken and with every little bit of news that reflects some justice. We relive the heinous and unbelievable death of my beautiful brother.”

Canadian-born Fabio Sementilli worked for decades as a trendsetting hairstylist and served as vice-president of education for beauty products giant Coty Inc.

Authorities said they used forensic evidence and DNA to link Baker to the slaying. His DNA was in a law enforcement database after a prior conviction for lewd acts with a minor.

If convicted, Monica Sementilli and Baker could be sentenced to life in prison without parole or the death penalty.

With files from The Associated Press

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Internationally known Toronto hairdresser killed in Los Angeles