A Florida man pleaded guilty to a foiled murder-for-hire he planned to pin on the Black Lives Matter movement, federal authorities said.
Daniel Slater, a 51-year-old father of three, admitted Friday that he plotted to kill his 22-year-old ex-girlfriend and her husband, meeting with an associate from May through June 2020 who agreed to carry out the slayings, according to the US Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Florida.
“They discussed logistics, including bringing a third person to assist,” prosecutors said in a statement Friday, adding that Slater told his accomplice to fatally shoot 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.”
The planned murders were never carried out after the couple hired by Slater turned out to be informants, the South Florida Sun Sentinel reported.
The pair recorded conversations with Slater and gave FBI investigators audio of him discussing the plot in detail. Prosecutors said he gave the purported hitman $200 and “some drugs” as a down payment for killing his ex, according to court documents cited by newspaper.
Slater then took the “hitman” days later to the home of his ex-girlfriend’s sister and husband, where he told his associate he wanted the couple shot through a window before spray-painting “Black Lives Matter” on the house, prosecutors said.
Authorities started investigating Slater in February 2020 after the body of Brianne Slabaugh, 26, was found in Everglades National Park. She had previously met Slater at a strip club and prosecutors said he tasked her with spying on his ex-girlfriend and killing multiple people close to her.
Prosecutors said Slabaugh was “unable to go through with the murder,” the Washington Post reported. A coroner determined she died from an accidental drug overdose. Slater was not charged in her death, but the woman’s father told the Sun Sentinel he believes she was murdered.
“Somebody knows something,” Michael Slabaugh told the newspaper. “Somebody’s gonna slip up somewhere, and everything with tie together.”
Federal prosecutors agreed to drop two additional murder-for-hire charges and three drug counts against Slater as part of a plea deal, the Sun Sentinel reported.
He’s set to be sentenced on Sept. 16 and faces up to 10 years in prison. Attorneys for Slater, of Jupiter, did not return a request for comment Tuesday, NBC News reported.