The widow of Woodmere motivational speaker Jeffrey Locker broke a long silence Friday to praise the murder verdict in the suicide-for-hire trial over her husband's death as a step in the "healing process."
"We always had great confidence in the criminal justice system, the jury and the New York City district attorney's office," said Lois Locker in a statement read over the phone by her brother, lawyer Stuart Serota. "It will be good to put this part of the healing process behind us."
Kenneth Minor, 38, was convicted Thursday of stabbing Locker, 52, to death in his car in Harlem on July 16, 2009.
Prosecutors conceded that Locker, deeply in debt, hired Minor to help kill him and make it look like murder so that his wife and three children would be able to benefit from millions in insurance he had just purchased.
Jurors rejected Minor's claim that it was assisted suicide, and not murder.
Soon after the killing, police said Lois Locker had reported her husband missing, and she was quoted in news reports saying that he wasn't in Harlem "by choice." After evidence began to surface corroborating Minor's claim that Locker was on a mission to die, she was not quoted publicly.
Jeffrey Locker's wife and family benefited from $6 million in old life insurance policies that paid off when he died. Another $12 million in recent policies that do not pay off in case of suicide are unresolved.
E-mails from Locker's son and to his wife that were introduced at trial, discussing estate planning and a memorial video, suggested the family may have been aware that he had an early death in mind, defense lawyers said.
Serota attended the trial and spoke regularly with the lead prosecutor, Peter Casolaro, on breaks. He declined to comment Friday on any of the issues in the case.