Man Who Said He Assisted Motivational Speaker's Suicide Gets New Trial

Kenneth Minor was convicted in an unusual case that broached the concept of assisted suicide in the context of strangers staging a violent death

Thursday, Oct 3, 2013  |  Updated 1:17 PM EDT
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Man Who Said He Assisted Motivational Speaker's Suicide Gets New Trial

The man who was paid to kill motivational speaker Jeffrey Locker has been sentenced to 20 years in prison.

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An appeals court has ordered a new trial for a man who was convicted of murder after claiming he had only helped a stranger commit suicide.

The court says the trial judge confused the jury by limiting the definition of assisted suicide.

The defendant, Kenneth Minor, was sentenced in 2011 to 20 years to life.

He told police that Jeffrey Locker, a debt-laden motivational speaker, approached him on a Manhattan street and asked for help in staging his death so it would look like a robbery. That way his family could collect life insurance, Minor says Locker told him.

Minor said he held a knife while Locker repeatedly lunged into it.

The judge told the jury that if Minor "actively" caused Locker's death, even with Locker's consent, it wasn't assisted suicide.

The appeals court said that's not the law.

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