Former Houston doctor found guilty in murder-for-hire plot

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- After four full days of testimony, a Harris County jury found a former Houston doctor guilty of solicitation of murder.

Leon Jacob showed no visible change in emotion as the verdict was read.

The jury unanimously found him guilty of solicitation of capital murder.

"I just wanted justice for my sister and we got it. it will never bring her back but I'm really happy with the verdict," said Valerie McDaniel's sister Angela Hudson.

In court, Jacob testified in his own defense, claiming he never wanted to hurt anyone. He testified in his own defense, a tact his attorney says is always a gamble.

"You never know how somebody comes off on the witness stand," said defense attorney George Parnham.

Jacob claimed he only wanted to prevent his ex from testifying against him and tarnishing his name.

"My intent always (was) for no one to be hurt," said Jacob during testimony as his defense team played selected portions of hours of secretly recorded audio by an undercover police officer who prosecutors say posed as a hit man.

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Leon Jacob's fate is now in the hands of a jury.

"I repeatedly said I didn't want anybody hurt," he said. "I really didn't want any harm to come to anybody at all."

Jacob claimed he felt intimidated by the undercover officer, even though he also argued that he believed the person was a "private investigator" and not a hitman.

"I felt a lot of pressure from them to commit to this idea of killing people and that was never my intent. So I think I took a much more aggressive tone with them.. Saying hey.. All this idea of killing and hurting people is not OK with me."

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The ex-girlfriend of a man who is on trial for his alleged role in a murder-for-hire plot will testify Wednesday.

Prosecutors say Jacob and girlfriend Valerie Mcdaniel hatched a plot to kill both their exes. The two are accused of paying over $20,000 in cash and jewelry to have them murdered.
Police were able to convince Jacob they'd both been killed - going so far as to have the intended victims pose for pictures showing their demise.

McDaniel killed herself days after the two were arrested.

"It's been really hard to be here but I wanted to be here to represent her and show the love that I have for her and everyone else has for her," said Hudson.

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Ex-girlfriend at center of murder-for-hire plot testifies in court, Kevin Quinn reports.

On cross examination, Jacob's responses became less measured and more agitated.

Prosecutor Samantha Knecht peppered him with questions, maybe none more telling than this.
"At no time do you try and say this has gone too far... I don't like where this is headed anymore... Did you say anything like that?" said prosecutor Samantha Knecht.

"Not that I recall," said Jacob.

Jacob could be sentenced to up to life in prison.

SEE ALSO: Trial begins for Leon Jacob in high profile murder-for-hire case
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