Hired hitman turned out to be an undercover LAPD officer, authorities say

When Los Angeles Police Department detectives went to the home of Bahar Danesh to warn her that her ex-husband, Khosrow Gharib, had allegedly hired a hitman to hurt her, she simply couldn’t believe it was true.

"I said 'it’s impossible, it can’t be him trying to hurt me, we just settled everything,'" Danesh said.

In court, the Los Angeles County District Attorney's office booked this as a solicitation to commit assault.

The couple had just settled a bitter 12-year divorce and it was at the end of that settlement when the hitman was allegedly brought into the picture.

Tracy Green, a Marsy’s Law attorney representing Danesh said there were audio and video recordings that were taken in a one-month span, where her ex-husband can be heard giving the hitman instructions.

"He [Gharib] said, 'I want you to break a hundred bones in her body, from her feet to her hands, rearrange the face, break the spine,' and then when the hitman said, 'What? Paralyze her? He said, 'No, the lower spine,' and he went into detail about what bone or where you break in the spine and focus on the lower spine, 'I want her taken out for a couple of years,'"  Green explained. 

So the hitman says, 'I can’t play God, what do I do, do this for a half an hour, break all these bones and then say, please don’t die, I’m not God.' He [Gharib] responded, 'Well, if she dies, (expletive) happens, sort of, I’m ok with that," Green added of what was said in the recordings.

The alleged agreement between Gharib and the hitman was $15,000 for permanent damage and $20,000 to take her out. The hit was supposed to take place in the office where Danesh works and she wasn’t the only intended victim.

Get your top stories delivered daily! Sign up for FOX 11’s Fast 5 newsletter. And, get breaking news alerts in the FOX 11 News app. Download for iOS or Android.

Green said Danesh's brother was also a target and that Gharib offered the hitman an additional $20,000. 

Court transcripts state "the defendant keeps telling the hitman, 'if you need to eliminate her, go ahead, what else can we do? If the brother becomes a problem, you can eliminate him too,' added 'If you do a good job, I have other jobs for you.'"

Luckily for Danesh and her brother, the hired hitman was an undercover officer with the Los Angeles Police Department and when Gharib gave a downpayment of $1,000, he was arrested immediately.

FOX 11 contacted Gharib, but his attorney declined to comment.

While Danesh and Green are thankful Gharib was stopped before anyone was harmed, they are disappointed with how the LA County District Attorney George Gascón is handling the case.

"Bahar and I both got phone calls from the detective saying, 'Bad news, you know what the situation is with the Gascón’s office right now...they booked this as a solicitation to commit assault,'" Green said.

FOX 11 contacted Gascón’s office for comment. This statement was issued: "There was insufficient evidence to prove solicitation for murder because the defendant specifically instructed not to kill the intended victim."  

Green disagrees with that assessment. 

"When you offer $15,000 to someone to go and spend a half an hour breaking a hundred bones in the body, which sounds like torture out of some crazy Tarantino movie, or you offer them $20,000 to just kill someone, what's the hitman going to take?," Green asked.

Green said that from the beginning, the LA County DA’s office failed these victims in several ways.


• New Los Angeles County DA George Gascón addresses criticism over new directives

• Critics and family torn by violence hold a 'Recall George Gascón' vigil

• Deputy DA files lawsuit against LA DA George Gascón

"I know that if I had not been there that morning, he could have been bailed out on $20,000 bail, no restrictions on where he could go, no restrictions on anything," Green said. 

At the current charge, Gharib faces a maximum of three years and eight months in prison. At a minimum, he is eligible for probation.   

"I’m completely in support of criminal justice reform, things need to be done. But my concern is that the pendulum swings so far to the other side it will actually hurt criminal justice reform," Green said.

Bahar went public with her story in hopes of convincing DA Gascón to reconsider the charges.

"I just want to beg him to please, please look at these recordings, listen to these recordings. And when you listen to these recordings, just for a minute, imagine this is happening to your own family. Would you let someone like that just out there, free on probation? Maybe just because it's his first time, by the time it's his second time, I'll be dead," Danesh said.