Arrest in motivational speaker's murder

March 3, 2011 3:08:09 PM PST
Investigators believe they have one of a trio of killers. Detectives locked up 36-year-old Kenneth Minor and slapped him with 2nd degree murder charges saying he helped murder Jeff Locker.

Prosecutors believe Minor was caught on a security camera using Locker's ATM card.

The ex-con was allegedly seen checking his face for blood splatters in the ATM reflection.

Minor's defense attorney says his client did not intentionally kill anybody, but would not dive any further into the details.

"Let me see the video tape first. I haven't seen any video tape. Then we'll move forward and put together the proper defense," Daniel Gotlin said.

But police say they have both video evidence and a confession.

"He gave a statement, a written statement, in which he indicates he was involved in the murder and he makes statements to the fact that the victim wanted himself killed. Actually, that he was looking for someone to help him die to collect insurance money," Commissioner Raymond Kelly said.

Assistant District Attorney Gloria Garcia said at the arraignment of Kenneth Minor that he "strangled as well as stabbed" Jeffrey Locker last week in the victim's station wagon, which was parked near an upper Manhattan housing project.

The Criminal Court complaint that Garcia filed said that Locker, who was from the suburbs and had recent legal and financial troubles, was found July 16 with multiple stab wounds to his chest and ligature marks around his neck.

Garcia said Minor stole Locker's iPhone and is seen on "numerous" videotapes using Locker's ATM card to withdraw cash.

The complaint she filed says Minor told police Locker offered him money and the ATM card if he would kill him.

Minor said he accepted the offer, the complaint says.

Garcia said Minor claimed Locker, who had a wife and three children, asked to be tied up to give the appearance he had been robbed so Minor tied Locker's hands behind his back before killing him.

The complaint says that in the station wagon, Minor "held a knife while the white male repeatedly thrust his chest into the knife, and that after doing so the white male appeared to die."

Garcia, urging Judge Kevin McGrath to keep Minor in jail without bail, said police found no suicide note or other evidence Locker wanted to die.

Detectives believe the North Woodmere father of three was tortured to give up his ATM security pin number.

The 52-year-old was found dead in his 2007 Dodge last week after telling his wife, Lois, the night before that he would be late coming home because of a flat tire.

The self-proclaimed "business spiritualist" told her he was dropping off two people who helped him change the tire.

Police found his car the next day parked outside the Wagner house in East Harlem.

Nothing was wrong with the tires, they said.

The night he was killed, police said, witnesses reported seeing him buy condoms and bottled water at a deli not far from where he was found dead.

The motivational speaker was found tied up, strangled and stabbed in his Dodge sedan near the RFK Bridge.

Detectives are looking into the possibility that Locker was soliciting a prostitute who later turned on him.

Now police are looking for a woman and man also caught on surveillance video, while Minor and his attorney prepare his defense.

"He seemed rational. He seemed upset by all the media attention and that he is being portrayed as something he is not," Gotlin said.