During the summer of 2020, while much of the country had turned its attention to the murder of George Floyd and the emerging Black Lives Matter Movement, Daniel Slater of Jupiter, Florida, was plotting the murder of his ex-girlfriend — a crime he later hoped to blame on Black Lives Matter supporters.
Minyvonne Burke of NBC News has reported that Slater “was arrested [in 2020] on charges of murder for hire, possession with intent to distribute a controlled substance and conspiracy to possess. He is [also] accused of soliciting an associate to help him kill his ex-girlfriend, her sister and the sister’s husband in the foiled plan.”
According to a criminal complaint filed in the case, Slater believed his girlfriend’s family had ruined his relationship. To get back at them, he allegedly began constructing a plot in which one of his associates would be given money and drugs for carrying out their murder. Instead of going to work for Slater, however, that associate instead began working with the FBI.
The whole alleged incident began to unfold in February 2020 when police uncovered the body of a young woman named Brianne Slabaugh in Everglades National Park in Miami. As the authorities began to investigate the cause of Slabaugh’s death — which was ultimately ruled an accidental overdose — they learned about Slater.
Officials found that before she died, “Slater had asked Slabaugh to conduct surveillance of his ex-girlfriend and the ex-girlfriend’s new boyfriend. Slater instructed her to become close with the boyfriend ‘and then kill him,’ but she did not go through with the crime.”
As the investigation progressed beyond Slabaugh’s death and into whatever Slater was plotting, another individual who has yet to be publicly identified began working with the FBI and agreed to wear audio and recording devices during a meeting with Slater.
Burke reported that “during a meeting in June 2020, Slater detailed how he wanted the associate to kill his ex-girlfriend, officials said. According to the complaint, the associate was instructed to knock out the woman’s teeth, break her nose and throw acid on her face.”
The complaint also included details on Slater’s intentions to murder the ex-girlfriend’s sister and the sister’s husband, saying he “drove the associate to the sister’s home and instructed the associate about what to do,” pointing to a window in the couple’s home and saying what days and times it would be possible to drive by and shoot them through it.
In the most outlandish aspect of the case, Slater also instructed the associate to try and blame the killings on Black Lives Matter supporters, telling him to spray paint BLM on the home and to “make it appear as if members with that movement were responsible.”
As the murder plot continued, Slater and the associate working with the FBI decided ultimately needed to bring in a professional hitman — who was actually an undercover FBI agent. The “hitman” met with the pair to “get instructions” and then met with them again several days later with photoshopped images that appeared to show the sister and her husband had been murdered.
Pleased with the outcome, Slater paid the associate and the “hitman” $400. Three days later, authorities say he was arrested and charged with plotting to kill his ex-girlfriend, her sister and the sister’s husband.
In court documents that were recently released, Burke reported that, after initially pleading not guilty, Slater has since accepted a plea deal, lowering his maximum conviction in the case from 90 years to just 10, if found guilty. Sentencing in the case is now scheduled for Sept. 16.