Trial begins in high-profile murder-for-hire case

- On Monday, jurors were selected in the high-profile murder-for-hire case involving a Houston couple.

Leon Jacob, 40, appeared calm in the Harris County court room as a jury pool of 80 was narrowed down to 12 jurors and 2 alternate jurors. Jacob is charged with solicitation to commit capital murder.

Jacob along with his late girlfriend, Valerie McDaniel, was arrested in early March last year for plotting to kill his ex-girlfriend and her ex-husband.

McDaniel, a well-known veterinarian in the Montrose area, committed suicide while she was out on bond.

The hit man the couple hired was an undercover officer who recorded his conversations with Jacob.

"I think that this whole issue relies on the recordings of conversations and what the words meant that were spoken by Leon to the undercover officer," said George Parnham, Jacob's attorney.

Parnham says he plans to have linguistics experts testify.

"Certainly, it’s my belief that the words of Leon had been prompted by the officer," he added.

Victim's advocate, Andy Kahan, was also in court on behalf of Jacob's ex-girlfriend. She is also expected to testify. 

"It’s been an incredibly long journey for her. It’s been a year of so many ups and down, and we’re finally at the point where she’s going to be able to tell her story and how she survived, from our perspective, an attempt to end her life," Kahan said.

Testimony begins Tuesday at 9:30 a.m. The judge hopes to have the case wrapped up by Friday. 

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