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Man who pleaded guilty in murder-for-hire case planned to pin killings on Black Lives Matter, prosecutors say

By Kendall Lanier and Amanda Watts, CNN

A 51-year-old Florida man has pleaded guilty to one count of murder for hire, according to a news release from the US Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Florida.

In June 2020 Daniel Slater asked an associate to murder members of his ex-girlfriend’s family — and to try to make it appear as though members of the Black Lives Matter movement were responsible, according to a factual proffer filing in US District Court in Fort Lauderdale.

The associate was working as an FBI informant and recorded the conversations, court documents state.

Slater, of Palm Beach County, faces up to 10 years in prison, according to Friday’s news release.

CNN reached out to Slater’s attorney, Richard Della Fera, who said he is not in a position to comment since Slater is awaiting sentencing.

During a series of meetings between Slater and the associate, the two hashed out plans to murder members of Slater’s ex-girlfriend’s family, according to the factual proffer filing.

The pair discussed logistics and the informant, as instructed by law enforcement, told Slater that they would be relying on a hitman to help carry out the murders. Unbeknownst to Slater, the hitman was an undercover FBI agent, according to the court documents.

In return for the murders, Slater agreed to “just take a little bit off,” of a debt the associate owed him, court documents state.

Law enforcement had provided the associate “audio and video recording devices” to record discussions with Slater, the complaint states.

According to details in court documents, Slater carefully planned the details of the murder and showed his associate how to execute it.

The factual proffer says Slater “pointed out a window in the home,” and explained that the intended victims “sat in their living room at specific times, and told the (informant) to shoot them through the window during one of those times.”

Slater also instructed the informant “to spray-paint the home to make it appear as if members associated with the Black Lives Matter movement were responsible for the murders,” court documents state.

Later that month, Slater and the associate met, according to court documents. The associate “showed the Defendant a photograph that had been doctored by law enforcement,” appearing to show the couple had been killed, the factual proffer said.

Slater paid the informant $400 for the hitman and promised additional payment, according to the complaint. “In the end, the planned murders did not occur, and the intended victims suffered no physical harm,” the news release states.

Slater is set to be sentenced on September 16, by US District Judge James I. Cohn in Fort Lauderdale.

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