One assassin was found dead, floating in the Florida everglades, and the man who allegedly paid her was looking for a second.
Daniel Slater wanted someone to kill his ex-girlfriend and her family. When the ex’s sister was killed, he wanted the “Black Life Matters” movement framed. But, his plan came to a crashing halt. The second hitman was an undercover FBI agent, and the man Snyder was talking to was working with the feds.
Now, Slater faces charges in connection to the murder-for-hire plot. Though one of the would-be killers is dead, her family claims she is a murder victim as well.
A PLOT TO KILL
On Feb. 24, 2020, police found a 26-year-old woman dead in the Everglades National Park outside Miami, Florida. The woman was identified as Brianne Slabaugh by her family and reported by the South Florida Sun-Sentinel.
She had run-ins with the law before and lived a life of drugs.
Her death was ruled a drug overdose, according to the medical examiner and reported by the Sun-Sentinel, but her family thinks it was murder.
A witness told the FBI that Slater asked them to kill the family of his ex-girlfriend for drugs or money, according to FBI documents filed in federal court. Another witness, who was working with the FBI, told police Slater paid him to kill people associated with the ex, but that witness did not go through with the killing.
The witness also said Slater tasked Slabaugh with stalking the ex and her new boyfriend. Slater told Slabaugh to develop a relationship with the man, then kill him, but she could not go through with the murder, according to the FBI.
On June 3, 2020, Slater met with the witness and made a plan to kill the ex. He told the witness he wanted her dead by “throwing acid on her face.” He then said he wanted to knock out her teeth and break her nose.
The witness asked if anything should be done to the ex’s family and Slater said once the ex was dead, “he could go from there,” according to the FBI.
Slater then said to kill the victim’s sister and mentioned giving the witness $200 and drugs to sell as payment.
The next day, Slater spoke to the witness by phone and told him to go get drugs kept by one of Slater’s friends. Slater told the witness to sell the cocaine, give him $2,100 and keep the rest of the money, according to the FBI.
Days later, Slater again met with the witness, and they drove to the sister’s house. There, Slater told the witness how to carry out the murder of the sister and her husband. He pointed out how they sat in their living room at specific times and Slater said to shoot through the window, according to the FBI.
Slater wanted to spray paint the home with “Black Live Matter” to make it appear the movement was responsible for the homicide, according to the FBI.
The witness and Slater met the next day and the witness said he would be using a hitman for the murder. But, the second assassin was, in reality, an undercover FBI agent. Slater told the witness he would take care of the payment.
On June 12, the witness told Slater they killed the sister and her husband.
Slater then stalled about getting the money by saying the banks were closed. He promised to make the payments, according to the FBI. Slater and the witness met that day, and the witness showed a fake photo of the dead bodies. Slater paid the witness $400 for the hitman and promised additional money.
Not done there, Slater then wanted another person killed and gave instructions on how he would like it to happen, according to the FBI. But, he would not meet with the hitman until after he committed the additional murder.
AN ONGOING CASE
Days later the fake murder, federal prosecutors charged Slater with possession with intent to deliver a controlled substance and using interstate commerce with the intent to commit murder.
A year later, the case remains active in federal court, which is odd given the system’s traditional ability to move cases. But the COVID-19 pandemic delayed many trials and Slater’s case has also had twists.
He was without a lawyer after federal public defenders asked to be removed because of a conflict of interest. His summer trial has now been continued until late July.
Slater even filed a rambling letter with the court asking for a hearing, though the court rejected the request because he has a new lawyer. In the letter, Slater wrote he wanted to take a plea deal in the case.