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DA Will Retry Convicted Jeffrey Locker Killer

Kenneth Minor will be retried for 2011 murder of Woodmere motivational speaker, reports say.

Jeffrey Locker (File photo)
Jeffrey Locker (File photo)

The man convicted of killing a motivational speaker from Woodmere will have his case retried, Manhattan prosecutors decided Thursday.

Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance will retry Kenneth Minor, 41, of Harlem, for murdering Woodmere's Jeffrey Locker in 2009, according to Newsday.

A state appeals court ruled that a judge incorrectly told jurors that participation in Locker’s death constituted murder even if consent was given, when it could have been considered assisted suicide, according to a Patch report in October. Assisted suicide carries manslaughter charges in New York State.

Minor had been convicted in 2011 and said he had agreed to assist in Locker's suicide for financial reasons. Minor claimed he held a knife in his hand and Locker, hands tied behind his back, thrust himself into it. Citing financial issues, Minor said he agreed to help Locker, who said he would hand over his ATM card if Minor helped kill him. Locker was in financial trouble himself at the time and reportedly had $18 million in life insurance.

Locker's body was discovered in his car July 16, 2009 and Minor was arrested several days later.

According to Newsday:

Vance has contended in the past that Minor should be punished for murder because it was not a "mercy killing," but defense lawyer Daniel Gotlin said the DA was incorrectly viewing an assisted suicide charge as a free pass.

"The problem is that Mr. Vance has this idea that people should not be able to get away with this," Gotlin said after the hearing. "But when you're convicted of second-degree manslaughter, that's not getting away with something."

State Supreme Court Justice Laura Ward scheduled a retrial for Feb. 13 and did not set bail for Minor, said the report.

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