Woman Accused of Hiring Hitman to Kill Ex Found Dead in Apparent Suicide: Report
The Harris County District Attorney's Office confirmed Valerie McDaniel's death to InsideEdition.com Tuesday, but declined to comment further.
A prominent Texas veterinarian accused with her live-in boyfriend of trying to have their exes killed was found dead in an apparent suicide one day before she was set to appear in court, officials said.
Valerie McDaniel, 48, is believed to have jumped from her seventh floor home at Willowick Condominiums in Houston Monday.
Her body was discovered in a courtyard between the building and its pool, the Houston Chronicle reported.
The Harris County District Attorney's Office confirmed McDaniel’s death to InsideEdition.com Tuesday, but declined to comment further.
There were no witnesses and no one else was home at the time of the apparent suicide, police said. No foul play is suspected.
McDaniel was out on bond after she and her boyfriend, Leon Jacob, 39, were charged with solicitation of capital murder for allegedly hiring a hitman to kill her ex-husband and his ex-girlfriend, authorities said.
But cops said the pair unwittingly hired out an undercover officer with the Houston Police Department, after the “facilitator” they contacted to find the hitman called police, the Chronicle reported.
The couple allegedly offered the undercover officer $20,000 in cash and two Cartier watches to have their former partners murdered.
McDaniel allegedly wanted her ex-husband, with whom she had an 8-year-old daughter, to be killed in a shooting that would be staged to look like a carjacking.
Jacob’s ex-girlfriend was the complainant in a stalking case against him, which investigators said was what led to the hiring of who he thought was a hit man, KPRC-TV reported.
"The co-defendant says he was looking for somebody to kill a witness for his pending stalking charge," according to probable cause statement reportedly read by a judge Saturday in court.
McDaniel posted $50,000 bond days after her arrest and was due in court Tuesday.
Jacob had been denied bail because of the existing charges he faces.
Jacob reportedly received the news of McDaniel’s death Monday.
When asked how his client took the news, attorney George Parnham told KTRK-TV that Jacob was, "Devastated, devastated."
Parnham asked the judge if Jacob could be released from jail to attend McDaniel’s funeral, but the judge refused, the television station reported.
Houston police reportedly found notes inside McDaniel's home that detailed her final wishes, including sealed letters addressed to family members.
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