Woman Targeted in Alleged Murder-For-Hire Plot Recounts Terrifying Ordeal
The "hit man" later worked with police to build a case against the suspect, Dr. Leon Jacob.
Meghan Verikas worked with Texas cops to stage a crime scene after learning her ex-boyfriend had allegedly hired a hit man to kill her last year.
"I was terrified," she told a stunned courtroom.
Verikas broke her silence Wednesday, testifying in the trial against her ex, Houston surgeon Dr. Leon Jacob. She held back tears on the stand as she described what she went through.
"I sat in a chair in a warehouse and they zip-tied my hands and my feet and put duct tape around my mouth to make me look as if I had been kidnapped," Verikas said.
Prosecutors say Dr. Jacob approached a decorated U.S. Army veteran, Moataz Azzeh, and offered him $20,000 and two luxury watches to make her "go away forever.”
The ex-soldier later worked with police to build the case against Dr. Jacob
In a shocking twist, Verikas, cops say, wasn't the only target. Cops say the doctor’s new girlfriend, veterinarian Valerie McDaniel, wanted to do away with her ex-husband, Mack McDaniel. She owed him $1.25 million and was worried he would take away their daughter.
They even hired the same "hit man."
Just like Verikas, McDaniel posed for these gruesome staged photos to make it look like he had been shot in the head. The blood is actually pig's blood.
McDaniel told prosecutors that officers asked him to stage his own death and called the experience "unimaginable."
Body camera footage obtained by 48 Hours shows the moment cops told Valerie that her ex-husband was dead. Her boyfriend, Dr. Jacob, was also there, as she shed crocodile tears.
Police didn't keep up the charade for long, and both were handcuffed.
They were arrested for solicitation of capital murder.
Two weeks after her arrest, Valerie McDaniel was out on bail when she jumped off the balcony of her seventh floor condo in Houston, killing herself.
Just before her suicide, she recorded a confession on her iPad.
Now, a year later, two victims are sharing their harrowing stories in hopes that it will put Dr. Jacob behind bars.
He took the stand recently and told the court he never "asked to have anyone hurt, kidnapped or killed."
Dr. Jacob has pleaded not guilty and denies any wrongdoing. He faces life in prison if convicted.
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