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Cook Guilty of Killing Waitress

April 22, 1999

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) _ A short-order cook who killed a waitress after an argument over poached eggs has been convicted of first-degree murder.

Hashem Zayed faces 25 years to life in prison for shooting to death Helen Menicou, a woman he worked with at the Pinecrest Restaurant for close to 20 years.

The two had a stormy relationship that reached a head in July 1997 when Zayed made a customer poached eggs, even though they were not on the menu. Menicou berated him in front of customers and employees, ordering him not to prepare the dish.

The next day Zayed shot the 47-year-old Menicou during breakfast-time at the diner when she mentioned the incident again. She ran behind the counter, but he followed her and shot her four more times.

His defense attorney said at trial that Zayed is a dimwitted man whose pride was crushed when he was ridiculed in front of regular customers.

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