According to a press release issued by the Southern District of Florida for the United States Attorney’s Office, Slater met with an associate from May to June 2020, who agreed to carry out the murder. Together the two laid out plans on how, when, and where to carry out the crime. They even discussed adding a third person to the plan.
Slater directed the would-be-hitman on how to make the murder seem like it was a “drive-by shooting” and spray paint the house to make it look like Black Lives Matter was responsible for the murders.
“Slater and his associate drove by the victim’s home, during which Slater instructed his associate on how to carry out the murders when the time came,” the press release said.
“Slater pointed out which of the home’s windows to shoot through to kill the couple. Slater also instructed his associate to spray-paint the house to make it appear as if members of the Black Lives Matter movement had committed the crime.”
Additionally, recordings were shared in court in which Slater asked the associate to knock out the victim’s teeth, break her nose, and throw acid on her face. In exchange for the murders, Slater offered the associate cocaine and agreed to forgive the associate for a prior drug debt.
However, before the crimes could be carried out his associate began working for the FBI as an informant. As an informant, the associate connected Slater to a “hitman” who was actually an undercover agent. According to authorities, the associate then pretended the murders were carried out by providing Slater with photoshopped images of the crime.
Slater was arrested and charged three days later. For his cooperation in the investigation, prosecutors agreed to drop two other murder-for-hire and three-drug charges he was facing. According to The Palm Beach Post, the lawyer who represented Slater, Richard Della Fera, said the evidence against Slater was “quite voluminous,” including phone recordings.
While Slater initially pleaded not guilty, during a court hearing last week, he changed his plea to guilty as a part of his plea deal. His sentencing is scheduled for Sept. 16.
According to NBC News, authorities began investigating Slater in February 2020 after they found the body of a 26-year-old woman in Everglades National Park in Miami. The woman was identified as the associate Slater had allegedly trained to kill his ex-girlfriend, Brianne Slabaugh. According to prosecutors, Slabaugh was “unable to go through with the murder” and agreed to work with the FBI. A Miami-Dade County medical examiner ruled her death an accidental drug overdose.