Federal authorities say a 51-year-old Florida man, who was arrested and charged for hiring a hitman to murder his girlfriend and other members of her family, had planned on blaming their killings on the Black Lives Matter Movement.
According to NBC News, a federal complaint on the foiled plan says Daniel Slater tapped an associate to assist him with arranging the killings of his ex-girlfriend, her sister as well as her sister’s husband. Besides his ex-girlfriend, the accused allegedly wanted the other two persons also dead because he felt they had played a part in sabotaging his relationship with his former flame.
The complaint states that Slater had approached his associate to help with the murders in exchange for money and drugs. However, the associate later informed the FBI of Slater’s plans after she began cooperating with the agency – leading to his eventual arrest.
Slater came under the radar of authorities following the death of a 26-year-old woman whose remains were found at a national park in Miami last year. The woman’s cause of death was reportedly ruled as an accidental drug overdose.
Prior to her death, the deceased, identified as Brianne Slabaugh, was approached by Slater to monitor his ex-girlfriend and her new boyfriend, the complaint states, according to NBC News. And though Slater told Slabaugh to establish a relationship with the new boyfriend of his ex-girlfriend “and then kill him,” Slabaugh did not heed to his request to carry out the crime.
The FBI was able to ultimately establish contact with Slater’s associate while investigating Slabaugh’s death. The associate eventually decided to cooperate with the FBI and that led to the agency requesting the associate to meet Slater while equipped with audio and recording gadgets.
In a meeting in June 2020, authorities said Slater explained how he wanted the associate to carry out the murder of his ex-girlfriend. Slater also took the associate to the home of his ex-girlfriend’s sister and detailed how the associate should carry out those killings too.
“Slater pointed out a window in the home, explained how [the sister] and her [husband] sat in their living room at specific times, and told the [associate] to shoot the victims through the window during one of those times,” the complaint states, NBC News reported.
The associate was also instructed by Slater to paint “Black Lives Matter” on the property after the murders to “make it appear as if members with that movement were responsible.” The nationwide protests that were triggered by the death of George Floyd were happening during that period.
The complaint also states that Slater and the associate sought the services of a hitman to help with the killings. Unbeknownst to Slater, the hitman he ended up hiring – after the associate told him to – was an undercover FBI agent. During a meeting with Slater on June 12, the associate told him the murders of his ex-girlfriend’s sister and her husband had been carried out and showed him doctored photos of their supposed bodies.
The associate and the undercover hitman subsequently received a $400 payment from Slater for their services. The accused also assured them he’ll pay them more. Authorities arrested Slater three days later.
Following his arrest last year, Slater was slapped with a slew of charges including murder for hire, possession with intent to distribute a controlled substance and conspiracy to possess. He pleaded not guilty during an initial court appearance.
The accused, however, later agreed to deal with authorities and pleaded guilty during a court hearing last week. Slater was facing 90 years in prison if he had been found guilty of all the charges. He now faces a maximum 10-year prison sentence after striking the plea deal.