It has been 14 years since a self-help motivational speaker from Long Island hired a man in East Harlem to help him commit suicide and make it look like a murder.
The victim, Jeffrey Locker, was found tied up in his black station wagon on a street in East Harlem. He was 52, a father of three and deeply in debt.
Kenneth Minor, the person who was accused, said that Mr. Locker had hired him to “do a Kevorkian” by holding a knife to the steering wheel and pushing Mr. Locker’s body against the blade several times.
Mr. Minor, who is 42 years old, has been locked up at Rikers Island ever since while his strange case has been heard by the courts. Mr. Minor was found guilty of second-degree murder in 2011 and given a life sentence plus 20 years. Two years later, though, an appeals court overturned the verdict and ordered a new trial, saying the judge had messed up when he or she told the jurors what “assisted suicide” meant.
He was charged with crimes a second time earlier this year, using the same evidence. In this case, Cyrus R. Vance Jr., the district attorney for Manhattan, asked a grand jury to add a new charge called second-degree manslaughter, which is usually reserved for people who help others commit suicide. This way, the jury could think about both options.
In what may be the last twist, Mr. Minor’s lawyer, Daniel J. Gotlin, said on Monday that his client had agreed with prosecutors to plead guilty to first-degree manslaughter in exchange for 12 years in prison. If Mr. Minor behaves well, he might get out of jail in as little as five years.
After Mr. Minor made a short appearance in State Supreme Court before Justice Laura Ward, Mr. Gotlin said, “He wants this to be over. He also knows he did something wrong.” He is aware that he needs to make up for it.
A spokeswoman for the district attorney’s office named Joan Vollero would not say anything about the plea deal or confirm its details. Mr. Gotlin said that Mr. Minor will likely enter a plea when he appears before Justice Ward next week.
Both the defense and the prosecution agreed at Mr. Minor’s first trial that Mr. Locker had hired Mr. Minor to help him die and make it look like a theft so that Mr. Locker’s family could get life insurance. But they didn’t agree on whether Mr. Locker killed himself or not.
Police said it was a case of murder for hire, even though Mr. Locker had agreed to be killed. For the prosecution, a medical expert said that Mr. Minor had stabbed Mr. Locker several times while he was lying on the ground in the car. He later used his A.T.M. card to take money out of Mr. Locker’s bank account, as shown by the evidence.