NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP) – A New York City man has turned down a plea offer after his murder conviction was overturned in a stabbing he calls an unusual case of assisted suicide.
Kenneth Minor’s lawyer told a judge Tuesday that Minor was rejecting prosecutors’ offer to plead guilty to manslaughter and accept a 14-year sentence. He’s been serving 20 years to life in motivational speaker and author Jeffrey Locker’s 2009 death.
Minor has said he’d admit to a manslaughter charge that involves aiding a suicide. But his lawyer, Daniel Gotlin, said the 14-year sentence was too long. The maximum for that charge is 15 years.
Minor said Locker approached him for help staging what would look like a deadly robbery so Locker’s family could collect his life insurance. Investigators found evidence that Locker, 52, planned his death.
In July 2009, Locker’s body was found stabbed to death in his car in East Harlem – far from his North Woodmere home. Five days later, Minor was arrested for repeatedly stabbing Locker.
Minor was found guilty of murder and sentenced in 2011.
At the time, Gotlin called the verdict 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.”
Minor had begged for a 15-year sentence when he was convicted, but was instead given 20 years in prison.
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