Leon P. Jacob, the man charged in a high-profile murder-for-hire plot involving a local veterinarian, apparently could not keep a secret. And because of it, the two people he was allegedly planning to have killed are still alive.
While posting bail on a felony stalking charge for harassing his ex-girlfriend in February, Jacob told his bail bondsman that he had paid a middleman to find a hit man to kill her.
That bail bondsman turned out to be none other than a city official, Houston City Councilman Michael Kubosh — who immediately alerted the police.
"You feel a little different after knowing you saved two lives," Kubosh told the Houston Press over the phone. "It's an odd feeling."
Jacob and his more recent girlfriend, Valerie Busick McDaniel, who was the prominent owner of the Montrose Veterinary Clinic, were both charged with solicitation to commit capital murder earlier this month, each accused of trying to hire a hit man to kill their ex-lovers. On Monday, McDaniel killed herself after jumping seven stories from her River Oaks condo, where she remained while out on bond. Jacob has remained in the Harris County Jail on no bond.
Kubosh's connection to the case was revealed in a court hearing Wednesday in which Jacob asked a judge if he could be released from jail to attend McDaniel's funeral. (The judge said no.) After Kubosh alerted the Houston Police Department, police tracked down the middleman Jacob had hired and convinced the man to cooperate in an undercover investigation. The middleman agreed to introduce an undercover Houston police officer posing as a hit man to Jacob and McDaniel at an Olive Garden restaurant, where the undercover officer presented fake crime scene photos of the intended victims — who were aware of the plot — playing dead. The fake hit man asked for $20,000 and two Cartier watches for the dirty work. After Jacob and McDaniel paid the officer, they were arrested.
At the direction of attorneys seeking to protect the investigation. Kubosh declined to offer more specifics about what Jacob told him about his plans originally.
Jacob has a history of harassing and abusing women in both Texas and Illinois, where his ex-wife lives. In the past he has been charged with domestic violence, violation of a protection order, aggravated stalking, intimidation/physical harm and cyberstalking, according to court records. Jacob's ex-girlfriend contacted police in January after the couple broke up, when Jacob began waiting for her outside her workplace and following her in her car, emailing, calling and texting her constantly.
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On January 23, he followed the woman outside of her workplace parking lot and drove in front of her, attempting to block her from leaving, yelling, "You are throwing away the best thing you ever had!" He stopped following when the woman drove to the downtown Houston police station. The woman also told police that Jacob assaulted her on January 12, when Jacob grabbed her and placed his hand over her mouth during an argument — which he admitted to police over the phone, leading to a warrant being issued for his arrest.
On February 6, police found him hiding in the shrubs outside her workplace again, and he was arrested on the assault charge. After posting bail, and until police had probable cause to arrest him for felony stalking, Jacob continued harassing the ex-girlfriend, telling her he loved her via email multiple times.
Some days later, when he returned to the Harris County jail on the felony stalking charges, he must have changed his mind.
Correction, 10:58 a.m.: An earlier version of this story stated Michael Kubosh is a licensed attorney. He is not.