Houston News & Search
Leon Jacob – a failed Houston doctor accused in a murder-for-hire plot involving his girlfriend, a prominent Montrose veterinarian, in an alleged scheme to kill their exes – is trying to get out of jail to aid his lawyers in his defense.
That’s what Jacob’s attorneys will argue in court Wednesday in another hearing called in an effort to get a bail of $50,000.
It’s at least the third time lawyers for the 39-year-old have tried to have bail set. And state District Jim Wallace is likely to again refuse bail, citing a risk to public safety.
Wallace has said in earlier hearings that because Jacob was arrested for allegedly trying to hire a hitman to kill a former girlfriend while he was out on bail for stalking that girlfriend, the judge is not willing to risk public safety.
Jacob was arrested in March on a charge of solicitation of capital murder with veterinarian Dr. Valerie Busick McDaniel, who killed herself March 27.
After his arrest, Jacob’s attorney, George Parnham, repeatedly asked for bail to be set. When Wallace made what Parnham called a “snide comment” during the second hearing, Parnham filed a motion to recuse the judge, which was denied.
Now, Jacob, has filed an appeal, a writ of habeas corpus, demanding that a judge set bail on his case so he can aid in his own defense.
To support his argument, Parnham notes in court records that a misdemeanor charge of domestic violence against the girlfriend has been dismissed.
The dismissal form, however, says the case was dismissed because the allegations have been rolled into a felony charge of stalking, which is on the docket with the first-degree felony of solicitation of capital murder. Typical of Harris County, all of the allegations against a suspect are wrapped into one case, the highest charge available, and when that case is resolved, the others end there as well.
If the judge refuses to set bail after hearing evidence on the issue Wednesday, that can be immediately appealed to a higher court at an expedited rate. Until a higher court rules in the case, the underlying criminal charge, solicitation of capital murder, will be postponed. When that issue is decided, the criminal case will go forward.
If convicted, Jacob faces the possibility of life in prison.
Houston News & Search