Murder trial delayed for Leon Jacob, accused in scheme to hire hitman to kill his ex
Published 9:42 am, Wednesday, November 29, 2017
Leon Jacob – the failed Houston doctor accused in an elaborate murder-for-hire plot—is expected to go trial in March, his lawyer confirmed.
Jacob, 39, was scheduled to go to trial later this week, nine months after being arrested on two charges of solicitation of capital murder on March 10. He was arrested with his girlfriend, a prominent Montrose veterinarian, in an alleged scheme to kill their exes. The couple tried to hire a hitman who turned out to be an undercover officer.
Jacob, who has a judge denied bail since his arrest, has maintained his innocence from jail and filed motions to go to trial as soon as possible.
The veterinarian, Dr. Valerie Busick McDaniel, killed herself March 27 after being charged in the case.
Defense lawyer George Parnham said he expects the case to go to trial just over a year from his March 10 arrest.
Parnham has said he expects to argue that Jacob was a victim of entrapment. He has brought in experts to evaluate audiotapes police made during a sting in which they staged the murders of Jacob's ex-girlfriend and Busick's ex-husband. Because scheduling those out-of-town experts was not possible this week, the trial has been delayed until March, Parnham confirmed.
State District Judge Jim Wallace has not set bail for Jacob after ruling he is a risk to public safety. Jacob was free on bail in a domestic violence case when he was arrested for trying to hire a hit man to kidnap and kill an ex-girlfriend who was expected to testify against him in that domestic violence case.
In addition to the two charges of solicitation of capital murder, a first-degree felony, he has also been charged with aggravated kidnapping. If convicted on any of those charges, he faces the possibility of life in prison.