The man accused of murdering Jeffrey Locker, a motivational speaker and father of three from New York, now claims the murder was an act of assisted suicide, ABC reports.
Kenneth Minor, whose trial begins today in New York, told authorities that Locker hired him to help him commit suicide. After a year-and-a-half investigation, there is evidence to support his claim. Minor, an ex-felon and drug addict, says Lockner was driving around New York City looking for someone to “do a Kevorkian.” The motivational speaker was deeply in debt, and recently took out a $4 million life insurance policy on himself and his family. He instructed Minor to “make it look like a robbery” so that his family could “get what they deserve.”
Although there is evidence supporting Minor’s testimony, prosecutors have rejected a manslaughter plea, and he faces second-degree murder charges. The jury will have to determine whether Minor’s actions were “active” or “passive.” Locker’s case was atypical for an assisted suicide, as he was stabbed multiple times in the chest rather than poisoned or drugged. Although that makes Minor’s role more significant, his lawyer plans to argue that he played only a passive role in Locker’s death.
“We’re going to present defense experts that say Locker lunged, by himself, onto the knife,” said Daniel Gotlin, Minor’s lawyer. “That’s the whole case: active or passive. All or nothing.”
The trial is set to commence Thursday and will help determine the definition of assisted suicide.