Valerie McDaniel and Leon Jacob were arrested earlier this year after their involvement in a failed murder-for-hire plot was discovered by police, according to People. Now, newly released footage of the couple being told about the death of McDaniel's ex shows the pair's suspected staged reactions.
“Oh my God,” says Jacob on camera. “We have been here all night. We were here all day with their daughter and we were watching movies. I never met him except for once.”
Police found Jacob's insistence on immediately establishing an alibi suspicious: “What he wants to do is ... let us know right away it is not him,” said Houston detective Frank Quinn. "And then feigns that surprise. It was all rehearsed in my opinion.”
McDaniel would later be released from arrest on $55,000 bail. The day before she was scheduled to appear in court, she jumped from the seventh floor of a building and killed herself. Jacob has since pleaded not guilty.
“I am innocent of these charges. I still maintain that throughout,” he told ABC News. “I find them to be atrocious in manner because I’m not some monster that wanted my ex-girlfriend killed and her ex-husband … I’m a healer by nature.”
This claim from McDaniel's is suspicious as well, considering he had been kicked out of numerous nursing residency programs and was deemed an “immediate threat to patient safety” by at least one hospital. He also had been charged with stalking a previous girlfriend, whom he later also attempted to have killed via a hitman in an attempt to prevent her from testifying in court, according to People.
The couple's plan to kill both their exes was allegedly arranged in an Olive Garden in Houston, Texas. The murderous design involved killing McDaniel’s ex-husband in a fake botched car-jacking, while Jacob’s ex-girlfriend would be kidnapped and then killed, People reports.
The hitman involved in the plans was, in fact, an undercover cop, leading to the eventual arrests of the couple.
“The whole thing is bizarre,” said prosecutor Tom Berg, first assistant at the Harris County Assistant District Attorney Office.
“It’s something that happened to her. I truly believe that,” said an unnamed friend who believes the attempted hit was the result of Jacobs' negative influence on McDaniels. “This was not something that she would’ve ever done.”
“I was completely turned off immediately by his attitude,” McDaniel said of meeting Jacob. “I was drawn to him but disgusted at the same time."