A 51-year-old Florida man, who plead guilty in a murder-for-hire case, planned to pin the murders on the Black Lives Matter movement.
What We Know:
- Daniel Slater was arrested last year for hiring an associate of his to murder his ex-girlfriend, Brianna Kane, 22, her sister, and her brother-in-law. He blamed the couple for ruining his relationship with his ex. Slater was charged with “murder for hire, possession with intent to distribute a controlled substance, and conspiracy to possess.”
- Slater would meet with the associate to go over details on how to execute the murders. In a recorded message, Slater is heard stating, “throw acid on her face” and “beat the (expletive) out of her, knock her teeth out, and break her (expletive) nose.” He would offer money and drugs to the associate if they carried out his gruesome plan.
- In February 2020, Brianne Slabaugh was arrested in Palm Beach, Florida, and informed officers that Slater was training her to be an assassin. She told them that he wanted her to not only kill Kane but kidnap several individuals associated with her. Slabaugh would conduct surveillance of Kane and her boyfriend and explained to officers that Slater wanted her to befriend the boyfriend before killing him. 18 days after her arrest, Slabaugh’s body was found in the Everglades National Park in Miami, and her death was ruled a heroin and cocaine overdose.
- The FBI used Slabaugh’s death to connect with an associate of Slater and used them, along with an undercover agent as a hitman, to retrieve information about Slater’s murder-for-hire plan. The associate would wear a wire and record conversations with Slater going over the various murders. At one point, Slater drove the associate by Kane’s sister’s house and explained the time frames the sister and husband would be sitting near the windows so that the hitman could time the shootings correctly. On June 12th, the associate used a photo created by the FBI to show Slater that the murders had been completed, and he paid them $400, even though he originally offered a higher amount.
- Slater’s murder plans were happening during a time when the US was experiencing civic unrest and racial tensions. The murder of George Floyd happened in May 2020, and various states and other countries were protesting against police brutality and racial injustices. Because the protests were going on, Slater told his associate to make the killings look as if members of the Black Lives Matter movement conducted the kills. He told them to spray paint the walls with “Black Lives Matter” so officials would investigate the group and overlook him as a suspect.
- BLM protests would usually start peaceful but would end with tear gas, rubber bullets, and arrest. Many of the protests would turn violent, with “white supremacists” and members of other racist groups starting riots by damaging buildings, cars and setting dumpsters on fire. These acts would confuse officers and news outlets, who would then attack BLM protestors who weren’t involved and blame them for the violence that was erupting around the country.
Slater could have faced up to 90 years in prison but changed his plea to guilty to receive a maximum of 10. He is set to appear in court on September 16th.