HOUSTON (FOX 26) - Veterinarian Valerie McDaniel said nothing as she rushed from the jail to a waiting car. McDaniel and Leon Phillip Jacob were in court this morning to answer the charges they try to hire someone to kill each of their exes. While McDaniel is a defendant officially, her lawyer says she's actually a victim.
“There are some indicators that are clearly pointing in that direction but I obviously can't say more at this point,” said her attorney Matt Alford.
“She is not a victim she is definitely a defendant,” countered Assistant District Attorney Nathan Moss.
The case actually began back in January when investigators say Leon Jacob wanted someone to kidnap his ex-girlfriend because she had accused him of stalking her. She had filed charges against him. Investigator say after her kidnapping he wanted her killed. While Jacob was meeting at the Olive Garden with an undercover cop posing as a hitman, they say McDaniel came in. She allegedly wanted to put a hit out on her ex-husband, the father of her eight-year-old daughter. Her defense attorney says this proves very little.
“She clearly came into the situation after the fact. She was a nobody's radar until the very end of the investigation,“ said Alford.
McDaniel is a veterinarian and the owner of a clinic in Montrose. She lives with Jacob in a high-rise in River Oaks. Investigators contacted the would-be targets of the assassinations and got them to agree to pose for photos making it look like the ex-husband had been murdered in a carjacking attempt and the ex-girlfriend had already been kidnapped.
The hitman met with a couple again to show them the photos.
“I believe at that point they didn't want to look at the pictures. They just kind of shied away and that's when they gave him the money. They said they didn't want to see the photos just 'here's the money we owe you.' They didn't want to see the pictures of the girlfriend they have been told they hadn't killed yet,” said Moss.
She was being held on $50,000 bond because she had no criminal record. He on the other hand is being held without bond because of the previous stalking charges.