Who Is Leon Jacob? Details About Doctor Found Guilty In Murder-For-Hire Plot

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Who Is Leon Jacob? Details About Doctor Found Guilty In Murder-For-Hire Plot
Entertainment And News

When we no longer want someone in our lives, we send them a text, give them a call, or meet face-to-face and end things. But for Leon Jacob, he took matters into his own hands and allegedly hired someone to kill his ex-girlfriend.

Who is Leon Jacob?

In April 2018, the former Houston doctor was sentenced to 30 years in prison for hiring someone to execute his ex-girlfriend, Meghan Verikas, as well as his girlfriend's ex-husband, Marion "Mack" McDaniel.

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The jury took only one hour to deliberate.

Jacob was found guilty of paying an undercover officer $20,000 to kill McDaniel and Verikas.

Also charged was Jacob’s girlfriend at the time, Valerie McDaniel, who was married to Marion McDaniel. She took her own life in 2017, shortly after she and Jacob were arrested.

Though Jacob’s lawyers had been arguing for probation and claimed his words were used against him, the prosecution had successfully portrayed him as a physically abusive manipulator who would get his way through any means necessary.

Verikas claimed that Jacob harassed her, leading her to break up with him, and that he still continued his behavior afterward. Jacob’s ex-wife also testified, saying that he physically attacked her while she was pregnant, and threatened to kill her.

The two undercover agents, Motaz Azzeh and “Detective Javier,” were recruited by Houston police. And according to Javier, “There was no doubt in my mind that Leon wanted Meghan killed. She was under the belief that I was going to carjack him… And I was going to put a bullet in his head.”

Despite this, in 2019, Jacob’s lawyers had tried to present evidence that the murder-for-hire plot couldn't be proven. Said R. Scott Shearer, “What is alleged has to be proven.”

Shearer had made the argument that the indictment indicated that the plot was against “M.M.” and “M.V.,” but that the initials were not that of McDaniel nor Verikas.

“If M.M. stands for the complaining witness, it has to be shown. It could be Mickey Mouse. We don’t know what it was, because no one ever testified, and there is no proof as to what it was," he said at the time.

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But it appeared that the jury hadn’t been swayed and, instead, handed down a guilty verdict. Jacob also took the stand at his trial, saying that the murder-for-hire plot never occurred.

“I never asked anybody to kill anybody,” said Jacob.

He also claimed that he had hired someone — a “private investigator” — to get back in touch with Verikas following their breakup. He wanted to reconcile, saying, “We had multiple discussions about not wanting to harm or hurt anybody. I never asked for anybody to be hurt, killed, harmed, kidnapped.”

But authorities painted a different picture, with the undercover officer posing as a hitman saying that Jacob wanted to keep Verikas from testifying against him on charges of stalking and assault, and that if she wouldn’t leave Texas, he would have her killed.

Authorities also had Verikas and McDaniel stage an abduction.

After their breakup, Jacob began sleeping with McDaniel, who had been separated from her husband for over a year. She then joined in on his plans to murder Verikas, and have her ex-husband killed as well.

“It doesn’t make me guilty of solicitation of capital murder. I’m not on trial for being a womanizer. You can assassinate my character all you want up here, but it doesn’t make me guilty of solicitation of capital murder,” Jacob said to the court during his trial.

Jacob is currently serving time at the Springfellow Unit, a prison located in Rosharon, Texas. He will not be eligible for parole until 2047.

Samantha Maffucci is an editor for YourTango who focuses on writing trending news and entertainment pieces.

Editor's Note: This article was originally posted in April 2019 and was updated with the latest information.

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