Boyfriend in murder for hire plot wants bail after suicide of veterinarian

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Leon Phillip Jacob –  a washed-out surgical resident accused of masterminding an elaborate plot with his veterinarian girlfriend to hire a hitman to kill their exes – is expected in court Wednesday.

Defense attorneys are expected to ask state District Judge Jim Wallace to set bail for Jacob, 39, who remains in the Harris County Jail without bail after being arrested with Valerie Busick McDaniel earlier this month on a charge of solicitation of capital murder.

Busick, who did not have any criminal history, was freed on $50,000 bail, which is typical for a first-degree felony. Busick died Monday after jumping from her River Oaks-area apartment in the 2200 block of Willowick Road.

The couple were accused of trying to hire a hitman to kill their exes, but the supposed hitman was an undercover officer with Houston Police Department’s major offenders division.

Jacob was held without bail, since he was already free on bond on a different charge at the time of his arrest. He was charged earlier this year with stalking the former girlfriend whom he was apparently trying to kill. He was also charged with domestic violence after forcefully grabbing that woman’s face.

Jacob is accused of asking an intermediary to find a hitman. Instead, that person went to the police who sent an undercover officer to meet with Jacob and Busick at an Olive Garden restaurant, where they allegedly agreed to pay $20,000 and two Cartier watches after the deeds were done.

The undercover officer alerted the intended victims, Busick’s ex-husband and Jacob’s ex-girlfriend, of the scheme. They worked with officers to stage fake crime scene photos to seal the deal, prosecutors said.

After seeing the photos, Jacob and Busick paid the officer and were arrested March 10.

Lawyers for Jacob are expected to tout his education and ties to the community. His mother was Busick’s divorce lawyer and apparently introduced the couple. She has not returned calls for comment.

A day after Busick killed herself, Jacob filed a request with the court to leave jail to attend the funeral. Wallace denied the request.


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