Hired killer in assisted suicide sentenced to prison

Reuters News
Posted: Apr 04, 2011 2:17 PM
Hired killer in assisted suicide sentenced to prison

NEW YORK (Reuters) - A man convicted of murder in what he called an assisted suicide was sentenced on Monday to 20 years to life in prison in the death of the New York motivational speaker who hired him.

Kenneth Minor, 38, was found guilty in March of the murder of Jeffrey Locker, who was stabbed to death in a car in East Harlem in July 2009.

During the trial, both Minor and the prosecution alleged that Locker paid for his own murder as part of a ruse to get insurance money for his family.

The deeply indebted 52-year-old motivational speaker from Long Island was found dead, his hands bound and his shirt soaked in blood.

Locker took out millions of dollars in life insurance policies in the weeks before he died, prosecutors say, and hoped his family would get the payout.

Prosecutors said that Minor accepted a deal from Locker and carried out his wishes, but Minor claimed he only held a knife against the car's steering wheel while Locker repeatedly threw himself upon it in an assisted suicide.

(Reporting by Bernd Debusmann Jr., editing by Barbara Goldberg and Greg McCune)