There’s a very strange murder trial happening right now in Manhattan’s State Supreme Court, in which Kenneth Minor stands accused of killing “life coach” Jeffrey Locker, 52, who many suspect staged his own murder. Yesterday, a panhandler, “admitted hustler and drug addict” Marvin Flemming testified that Locker gave him $5 outside of an East Harlem bodega, along with an interesting proposition. “He informed me that he was looking for someone to make him dead,” said Fleming. “To kill him.”
Locker spent time around Harlem, according to the New York Times report of the trial, “looking for some gang members, anybody, to kill him,” Fleming said.
Fleming says he never planned to actually kill Locker, but just hoped to get as much out of him as possible before backing out. Fleming ended up with “about $4,000, some jewelry and two knives.”
The pair decided to stage the killing as if Locker was fixing a flat tire and Fleming had just shot him in the midst of a robbery, a form of extravagant suicide that would still pay his family a life insurance claim. Locker even called his wife and son to say he found someone to help him fix his car.
Mr. Locker also called someone else to say that “he found somebody to take care of what they didn’t take care of for him,” Mr. Fleming said.
Mr. Locker dropped Mr. Fleming at a friend’s house to get a gun. But Mr. Fleming never returned, he testified. Hours later, he said, he got a call from Mr. Locker, saying, “Mel, why did you do me like that?”
They never saw each other again.
Kenneth Minor, the other Harlem man who currently stands on trial for murder, went through with his end of the deal, and “claims that he held a knife to Mr. Locker’s steering wheel while Mr. Locker thrust his chest into the blade.” Prosecutors maintain that Minor “jabbed the knife into Mr. Locker.”
Read more on the dark, wacky saga here, or wait until it’s playing at a theater near you.