Veterinarian charged in murder for hire plot out on bond

HOUSTON -- A prominent Houston veterinarian accused of hiring a hitman to kill her ex is out of jail for the first time since her arrest Friday.

In court on Monday, prosecutors detailed just how far undercover officers went to catch Leon Jacob and Valerie McDaniel in a plot to kill their exes.

"We made contact with a facilitator who had the undercover officer pose as a hitman," said Harris County District Attorney prosecutor Nathan Moss.
From there, prosecutors said Jacob and McDaniel met with the undercover officer to talk about the details at the Olive Garden on Buffalo Speedway.

Prosecutors said the deal included $10,000 and two Cartier watches for collateral.

ORIGINAL STORY: Couple accused of trying to hire a hitman to kill their exes

In order to make it look real, prosecutors said the victims agreed to pose for pictures to make it appear as if the hit actually happened.

"They posed a scene of him getting shot during a carjacking as was discussed at the Olive Garden. They brought those pictures to the defendants. At that point money was exchanged, in exchange for the killing of the compliant," said Moss about McDaniel's case.

Prosecutors said they don't always stage hits, but they felt it would be helpful in this case.
Both suspects are prominent in the community. Jacob has worked in the medical field, and McDaniel is a veterinarian. They live in a high-rise in River Oaks.

"These are on a case-by-case bases, especially in cases like this, where we know there are going to be high-priced lawyers. We want to make sure the case is going to be solid, so we bring it full circle," said Moss.

McDaniel's attorney said it appears his client knew little about what was really going on.

"If any involvement whatsoever by Valerie McDaniel, which I'm not admitting to that, but what I'm saying is, she clearly came into this situation after the fact. She was on no one's radar until the very end of the investigation, is my understanding," said McDaniel's lawyer Matt Alford.

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