Kenneth Minor Gets 20 Years For Motivational Speaker’s Murder

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP) — A convicted killer who claimed he was helping a man commit suicide was sentenced to 20 years to life in prison Monday.

police investigate jeffrey lockers vehicle Kenneth Minor Gets 20 Years For Motivational Speakers Murder

Police investigate Jeffrey Locker's vehicle (credit: CBS 2)

Kenneth Minor, 38, was found guilty in March of the murder of motivational speaker Jeffrey Locker.

The defendant yelled an expletive after the sentence was pronounced.

“Only two people in the world know what happened that night, and one of them is not here no more,” said Minor, whose voice sometimes broke as he addressed the court.

“I was going to pay for the part I played in this situation. And I would be the first to stand up as a man to take responsibility…. I’m no animal, and I ain’t got no malice in my heart,” Minor said.

“In the end, a life is a life. And I ask your forgiveness,” he concluded.

Minor believes race was a factor in his prosecution.

“He was very upset and I understand that because from day one he wanted this resolved and he feels that he was discriminated against,” attorney Daniel Gotlin said.

Minor begged for a 15 year sentence, which is what he would have received if the prosecution had agreed to a manslaughter plea.

Gotlin calls this a miscarriage of justice.

“Nobody in New York State has ever, ever, ever been convicted of murder on an assisted-suicide case,” Gotlin said. “This was nothing more than an assisted-suicide made to look like a murder so his family could collect $12 million in life insurance – that’s what this was all about.”

Locker was found stabbed to death in his car in East Harlem in July 2009.

1010 WINS’ Steve Sandberg reports: Attorney Daniel Gotlin sounds off on the sentence

Minor said Locker gave him a knife and that he held the knife against the steering wheel while Locker lunged his body repeatedly into it.

Prosecutors said Minor went beyond aiding suicide by stabbing the 52-year-old Locker seven times in the self-help expert’s car.

The defense argued Locker drove to East Harlem and searched for a hitman for himself. They said he was in deep debt and the money from a life insurance claim would help his family.

Gotlin tried to portray Locker as a puppeteer who engineered his own death. In his opening remarks in the case, Gotlin called Locker “the ultimate con man” who found “the ultimate sucker,” Minor.

Gotlin told WCBS 880’s Irene Cornell he thought the jury rejected the assisted suicide defense because of the way the judge explained the charge to the jury.

“There’s a phrase you can be charged out of the courthouse and I think that’s what the judge did here. She mistakenly, in my belief, charged to the jury that assisted suicide only applies if you act passively and that is not what the statute says. She told them that if he actively participated in the death of Jeffrey Locker, even with Locker’s consent, he’s not entitled to that defense,” said Gotlin.

Prosecutors said the evidence didn’t support any kind of suicide-by-proxy argument.

(TM and Copyright 2011 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2011 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

  • Ruby

    Who is splitting the multimillion dollar insurance policy with the widow?

  • Ruby

    Okay now make sure the widow does not receive her multimillion dollar settlement. She could have been in on it too!

  • jayson

    what a messed up society when someone can make a comment like”he was trying to be a good samaritan. Hmm im going to try to be a good citizen tonight “Im gonna go stick a knife in someone”

  • witey

    Hey Woody wake up. Stop using the race card. You are practically saying it was okay for him to kill the man. Who the hell knows your friend could be making up the whole story . It probabably was a robbery anyway

  • Moral Truth

    Mr Minor did not receive if its proven that this verdict was based on his race and thats the moral truth.

  • WOODY3691

    It doesn’t seem that Minor stood to profit by Locker’s death and that he foolishly thought he was being a good samaritan. Poor judgement aside, it doesn’t sound like he committed a murder and that the sentence is not proportional to the crime.

    Of course, the question of color must come in to play. Had Minor been white, would he have received the benefit of the doubt? I think so.

  • jtorres

    Isn’t suicide illegal? By that same token isn’t assisted suicide also illegal? Standing aside and doing nothing to stop it, is not. Holding the murder weapon, in this case, a knife, doesn’t make you an innocent bystander. It makes you guilty

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