Man faces life for helping debtor die

Saturday 05 March 2011 01:00

A man hired to help a debt-ridden motivational speaker kill himself has been convicted of murder.

Jeffrey Locker, 52, a self-help author and business coach, died in July 2009, a jury in New York was told. He was found stabbed in his car, his hands tied behind his back.

Police initially treated his death as a robbery gone wrong, but later found that Mr Locker, facing bankruptcy after falling victim to a Ponzi scheme, had been cruising the streets, offering to pay strangers to kill him. He wanted it to look like a robbery so that his family could collect as much as $18m (£11.8m) in life insurance, the court heard.

The conviction leaves Kenneth Minor facing a possible life sentence. Minor, 38, has a history of drug problems and arrests. He told investigators he initially brushed Mr Locker off but then began to feel sorry for him as the motivational speaker poured out his woes.

Prosecutors said Minor stabbed Mr Locker seven times. Minor said he just held a knife against the steering wheel while Mr Locker repeatedly lunged into it.

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