The television true crime mystery show "48 Hours Mystery" will air a segment Saturday on the murder of Jeffrey Locker, a debt-ridden motivational speaker who prosecutors say wanted to arrange his own death.
The program airs on CBS and is hosted by correspondent Richard Schlesinger. According to a promotional spot, the episode features interviews with law enforcement officials, members of the media and a long-time friend of Locker's. Kenneth Minor, the man who was convicted of killing Locker, also appears in the program and breaks his silence about the case.
"I've always said I will pay for what I did. I will pay for the part that I played," Minor said in his first interview. "It wasn't murder. I just happened to be the building he jumped off."
Locker, 52, was found dead on July 16, 2009, inside his 2007 Dodge Magnum, which was parked at a housing project in East Harlem, N.Y. A cord was wrapped tightly around his neck and he had suffered multiple stab wounds that pierced his heart, lungs and liver. Minor was arrested the following week, after police obtained surveillance footage that showed him withdrawing $1,000 from several ATMs using Locker's bank card.
Minor admitted to killing Locker but claimed the man had approached him at random and asked him to do it in exchange for his ATM card. Minor said Locker told him he was deeply in debt and wanted to die so his family could collect on an $18 million life insurance policy.
"It had to look like a robbery so that his family could get what they deserve," Minor said, according to court papers.
Minor said he attempted to choke Locker with a wire but it kept breaking, so Locker instructed him to use a knife.
"He said to hold it against the steering wheel with the blade facing him. I did that, and he leaned forward into the knife three to four times while I held it," Minor said. "He then told me to move the knife over to the other side where his heart is. I moved the knife over and he leaned forward into it a couple of more times. At that point, he was alive and breathing heavily. I got out of the car and threw the knife."
The story sounded incredible to police. During his interview with Schlesinger, Minor acknowledged, "Nobody wanted to believe me."
When the case went to trial in February 2011, the defense argued Locker's death was a case of assisted suicide. Evidence revealed during the trial showcased Locker's severe financial troubles, pending lawsuits and a multi-million dollar life insurance policy that Locker had purchased months before his death.
The prosecution challenged the assisted suicide claim and argued that Minor was basically a cold-blooded contract killer.
The jury ultimately sided with the prosecution and Minor was found guilty of second-degree murder. On April 4, 2011, Minor was sentenced to 20 years to life in prison.
The primetime broadcast on the case, "Death Wish," will air Saturday at 10:00 p.m. ET on CBS.
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