Woman Who Allegedly Hired Hitman at Olive Garden Is Dead

Valerie McDaniel was due in court Tuesday
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 27, 2017 6:54 PM CDT
Updated Mar 28, 2017 12:50 AM CDT

(Newser) – A woman accused in a murder-for-hire plot committed suicide Monday, police confirm. Houston veterinarian Valerie Busick McDaniel and boyfriend Leon Jacob were accused of hiring a hitman to kill their exes; what they didn't realize is that "hitman" was actually an undercover police officer. Both were charged with soliciting capital murder; McDaniel, 48, was free on bond and due in court Tuesday. She jumped to her death from the high-rise building where she lived, Click2Houston reports. McDaniel has an 8-year-old daughter with the ex-husband she allegedly tried to have murdered, the Houston Chronicle reports, but no one was at home when she killed herself.

Jacob, 39, is being held without bond and is due in court Wednesday. Prosecutors say police arranged for an undercover officer to pose as a hitman, and that at a meeting at Olive Garden the couple offered to pay $20,000 and hand over two Cartier watches. McDaniel's husband was allegedly to be killed in what was supposed to appear as a bungled carjacking; he and Jacob's ex were alerted as to what was going on and agreed to pose for photographs that supposedly depicted their murder and kidnapping, respectively. McDaniel and Jacob allegedly then forked over part of the payment, and were arrested earlier this month. More on their story here. (Read more suicide stories.)

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