A Texas woman says she owes a former Marine who was hired to kill her “a debt of gratitude” after he exposed the murder-for-hire scheme.
Joey Sees says Keith Cote, who was in a wheelchair, offered him $10,000 to take the life of SanDee Jones because she was dating a black man. Cote offered another $15,000 to “watch him put a bullet in her head,” according to KXAN.
“He’s a hero, not only for our country, but for me,” Jones told the station. “What Joey did is about nothing except love. That’s the greatest and he didn’t even know me. Not everyone would do what Joey did.”
Cote was caught planning the murder on video. He was arrested in October of 2017, and spent nearly a year behind bars. He killed himself about a week after posting bond in September, according to the station.
The case is now closed, but Jones says she will always remember what Sees did for her. The pair met for the first time recently and embraced.
“I’m sorry we had to meet this way,” Sees whispered to her, according to KXAN.
It all started when Cote invited Sees’ family to his Austin home for a barbecue. Cote told him he knew Sees “had killed people before and that this would be right up his alley,” according to an arrest affidavit obtained by KXAN.
“When we’re in a warzone, we’re just trying to get home and we’re just protecting each other. I guess he thought every Marine is a hitman,” Sees said, according to the station. “We’re not killers. We just do our job, but our job isn’t to come home and murder someone because she’s dating a black guy.”
Sees said that Cote put the money “on the table.”
“I thought he was kidding at first, until he kept initiating the conversation,” Sees said, according to KXAN. “I thought he was just bragging that he has $10,000 cash. Like you know, good for you, bud. But then he kept on and on pursuing the idea of me murdering this lady.”
Sees played along so Cote would not hire anyone else. Cote even instructed Sees, who served in Iraq, how to commit the murder. KXAN obtained video of their discussions.
“When she looked up at him, [Sees] is to shoot her twice in the head and [Cote] wanted to watch her slump over the wheel dead,” states the affidavit obtained by the station.
Jones also credits the Travis County Sheriff’s Office for foiling Cote.
“My life if forever changed,” she told the station.