Leon Jacob: " I never asked anybody to kill anybody."

KTRK logo
Friday, March 23, 2018
EMBED <>More Videos

Leon Jacobs takes the stand in murder-for-hire case, Kevin Quinn reports.

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- The man at the center of a high profile Houston murder-for-hire case is testifying in court.

Leon Jacob is testifying now in his own defense as he stands accused of hiring someone to kill his ex and that of his new girlfriend.

"I never asked anybody to kill anybody," said Jacob, the former Houston doctor who was arrested along with Valerie McDaniel in March of 2017.

Police say Jacob wanted his ex-girlfriend Meghan Verikas dead.

Verikas testified Wednesday that she broke up with Jacob in January of 2017 when he became violent.

Jacob seemed agitated on the stand as he was questioned prosecutors, but his answers were measured.

He is sticking to his story that he never wanted to kill anyone.

Jacob insists he was desperate following the breakup with his ex-girlfriend Meghan Verikas. He admits hiring a person he characterizes as a private investigator to find her because she had shut off all contact with him. But Jacob insists he just wanted to reconcile.

"We had multiple discussions about not wanting to harm or hurt anybody," he said. "I never asked for anybody to be hurt, killed, harmed, kidnapped."

Authorities say he hired someone he believed to be a hitman to scare her or kill her if necessary to keep her from testifying against him.

Jacob says he paid thousands of dollars, not to hire a hitman to kill Verikas but for expenses as that "private investigator" tried to find her.

The money, he insists was meant also for Verikas' expenses if she agreed to move out of Texas.

On secretly recorded audio made by that man, who prosecutors say was an undercover police officer posing as a hitman, Jacob said he wanted to keep Verikas from testifying against him in a stalking and assault case. If she wouldn't leave Texas, authorities say, Jacob wanted Verikas killed.

Prosecutors say Jacob had moved on romantically, that he slept with Montrose veterinarian Valerie Mcdaniel just 7 days after Verikas broke up with him. They say that the new couple hatched a plan not only to kill Verikas but also McDaniel's ex-husband. Jacob said he and McDaniel were to be married.

A forensic financial investigator who reviewed bank accounts the couple opened together testified one or both of them withdrew more than $25,000 in the days before their arrests. The defense said this money was used for other purposes, not for hiring someone to kill the couple's exes.

"It doesn't make me guilty of solicitation of capital murder. I'm not on trial for being a womanizer," said Jacob. He continued, "You can assassinate my character all you want up here but it doesn't make me guilty of solicitation of capital murder."

Valerie McDaniel killed herself days after the arrests. She was divorced about a year and a half before the alleged murder-for-hire plot. Her attorney: Leon Jacob's mother. They were neighbors. "She wished he was dead," Golda Jacob testified of Valerie McDaniel and her views on her ex-husband, "Mac" McDaniel. In fact, she told the jury Valerie McDaniel even mentioned wanting to have him killed. Golda Jacob says she never reported to authorities that client said that.

If convicted, Jacob could be sentenced to up to life in prison.

He will be on the witness stand tomorrow morning for more questions from his attorney.

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