Slater remains in W.Va. jail in relation to brother's death; discovered body unidentified as of Monday
By Alex Bridges -- firstname.lastname@example.org
WINCHESTER -- Justin Shane "Pi" Slater admitted to killing his estranged girlfriend and taking her body to West Virginia last week, authorities say.
Slater, 24, of 117 Buffalo Trail, Shawneeland, remains incarcerated at the Potomac Highland Regional Jail in Augusta, W.Va. He was arrested by a Hardy County Sheriff's Office deputy Saturday afternoon outside Wardensville on a fugitive from justice warrant for charges of first-degree murder and use of a firearm in commission of a murder in connection with the death of his brother, Gregory Scott Slater, 28.
The elder Slater was found dead Thursday in his home on Valley Mill Road, according to Frederick County authorities. A search warrant executed on the home, filed in Frederick County Circuit Court on Monday, indicates Justin Slater may have thought his brother was trying to form a relationship with his estranged girlfriend, Kayleigh Marie Plamondon.
Plamondon, 22, of White Post, had been reported by the Clarke County Sheriff's Office as "missing under suspicious circumstances" since Tuesday.
After authorities apprehended him, Justin Slater told officers Plamondon was dead and at a home on Timberline Drive in Lost City, W.Va., according to an affidavit for a search warrant for the property that was posted on The Winchester Star's Web site Monday afternoon.
Officers discovered a body at the residence, the document states. The body had not been identified as of Monday.
Sgt. Travis Sumption, of the Clarke County Sheriff's Office, questioned Justin Slater, who "indicated he had killed Plamondon in Clarke County on June 9 and transported her to the said residence of Lost City on the same day," the affidavit states.
On Monday, the Clarke County Sheriff's Office and Commonwealth's Attorney Suzanne "Suni" Perka were awaiting the results of an autopsy on a body found in a home once owned by Justin Slater's parents in Lost City, W.Va.
"I do know the autopsy, the physical examination, has been completed," Clarke County Sheriff Anthony W. "Tony" Roper said Monday afternoon. "We are still waiting for the definitive identification [of the body] and ... I'm not sure it will even happen today, before we're able to get an official release. We're having to go to dental records and those things can take a little time."
Roper said he did not know the cause and manner of death, which would have to be determined through the autopsy by a state medical examiner in Charleston, W.Va.
Roper did say the body was that of a female.
"We are proceeding as if she died in Clarke County," Roper said when asked whether authorities had determined when or where the woman died.
A search warrant filed Monday in Frederick County Circuit Court sheds light on the events leading up to the shooting. Clarke County Sheriff's Office investigator N.D. Chambers responded to the Lakeville Farm Lane home June 10 and found Plamondon's vehicle, purse, wallet and keys at the residence, according to the corresponding affidavit filed Thursday. Chambers determined Justin Slater to be the woman's estranged boyfriend, the document states.
Chambers spoke to Justin Slater's father, Greg Slater Sr., who said that during an incident on June 3, he thought his son "was on drugs and he reported that Justin had been talking about committing suicide due to his recent breakup with" Plamondon. Justin Slater then voluntarily had himself committed to a hospital for a mental evaluation.
"When he was leaving he stated to his father that 'he is better and that he knew that he did not have to die, but that he knew that only one person had to die,'" the affidavit states. "Greg Slater Sr. believes that Justin is upset with his brother, Gregory Scott Slater, because Justin thinks that Gregory Scott Slater has been trying 'to get with Kayleigh.'"
According to the search warrant executed on the Valley Mill Road home, investigators took several swabs of a red substance, and recovered several items, including the results of a gunshot residue kit.
Maj. Robert "Robbie" Eckman, with the Frederick County Sheriff's Office, said investigators went to Schuylkill County, Pa., on Sunday where Pennsylvania State Police recovered the 1999 Jeep Cherokee Justin Slater is said to have been driving. Police found the vehicle at the bottom of a 40-foot embankment in a wooded area of the county not far from where a black Volkswagen had been reported stolen. Justin Slater was driving the Volkswagen at the time he was arrested Saturday afternoon outside of Wardensville, W.Va.
Authorities believe Justin Slater used the Volkswagen at some point to take Plamondon's body from Clarke County to Lost City. The exact sequence of events in the case remains unclear.
The Hardy County Sheriff's Office may seek to charge Justin Slater with illegally transporting a corpse, Eckman said, adding that Pennsylvania authorities also could charge the suspect with vehicle theft.
Justin Slater could appear before a judge in Moorefield, W.Va., for an extradition hearing as early as today, Eckman said.