Suspect in Montrose murder-for-hire asks for new judge after snarky comment

1 Houston

Houston News & Search

1 News - 1 eMovies - 1 eMusic - 1 eBooks - 1 Search

A Houston man accused with his girlfriend of trying to hire a hitman to kill both of their exes is asking for a new judge in a highly-publicized murder-for-hire case.

Leon Phillip Jacob has alleged in motions for recusal that state District Judge Jim Wallace cannot be fair and impartial because of a “snarky comment” he made in open court.

Jacob, a 39-year-old failed doctor, was arrested earlier this year on a charge of solicitation of capital murder with prominent Montrose veterinarian Dr. Valerie Busick McDaniel, who killed herself March 27.


The disputed comment came during a hearing in March on Jacob’s request for bail. When defense attorney George Parnham argued that Jacob cared about the ex-girlfriend, the judge responded, “I mean, that’s why you hire a hitman.”

“Judge Wallace’s comment was snide and in flagrant disregard to the defendant’s fundamental protection of his presumed innocence,” Jacob’s attorney wrote in the motion for recusal. “It further reveals Judge Wallace’s own personal prejudice towards this case.”

In court records, Parnham also called the retort a “snarky comment.”

The couple were arrested after investigators say they paid an undercover police officer posing as a hitman to kill their exes. During the bail hearing, Jacob was already free on bail after being arrested for allegedly assaulting his ex-girlfriend, forcing Wallace to refuse to set bail in the new case.

Friday’s hearing, a teleconference with state District Judge Phil Grant from Montgomery County, is expected to wrap up in less than a day. The judge is expected to make his decision later Friday.

brian.rogers@chron.com
twitter.com/brianjrogers


1 Houston

Houston News & Search

1 News - 1 eMovies - 1 eMusic - 1 eBooks - 1 Search


Facebooktwitterredditpinterestlinkedinmail

Facebooktwitterlinkedinrssyoutube

Leave a Reply