Montrose veterinarian accused in murder-for-hire plot dies by suicide

- UPDATE 3/30/2017 11:00 AM: The attorney for murder-for-hire suspect, Leon Phillip Jacob files to withdraw from the case.  The suspect was the boyfriend of the Montrose veterinarian who took her life on Monday.  

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A prominent Montrose veterinarian accused in an elaborate murder-for-hire plot to kill her ex-husband took her own life Monday morning by leaping from her seventh-floor condo in River Oaks, authorities said.

Veterinarian Valerie Busick McDaniel and her boyfriend, Leon Phillip Jacob, were arrested earlier this month after they reportedly offered $20,000 in cash and two pricey Cartier watches to an officer posing as a hitman, prosecutors alleged in court.  The 48-year-old Montrose veterinarian was released on $50,000 bail.

According to authorities, McDaniel allegedly planned to kill her ex-husband and was currently embroiled in a custody battle with him for their 8-year-old daughter. Her boyfriend, Jacob wanted his ex-girlfriend killed because she accused him of stalking her. Jacob is still in jail because of the stalking charges. McDaniel was able to make bond since it was her first offense, and she was slated to make a court appearance today. Jacob's attorney said that he was "devastated" over the news of his girlfriends death. His attorney saying that they plan on asking a judge if Jacob can be released on bond so that he may attend her funeral. 

Despite McDaniel's death, a court hearing is still scheduled for today. FOX 26 will be attending. Keep informed with our updates on this developing story. 

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