Gregory Slater Jr. was killed by shot to head; discovered body still has not been identified
By Alex Bridges -- firstname.lastname@example.org
WINCHESTER -- A Frederick County man who investigators say was slain by his brother last week died from a single shotgun blast to the head, according to the Virginia state medical examiner's office.
An official with the agency in Fairfax also said Tuesday that the death of Gregory Scott Slater Jr., 28, of 293 Valley Mill Road, has been ruled a homicide. She could not say when the man died.
The Frederick County Sheriff's Office has charged Justin Shane "Pi" Slater, 24, of 117 Buffalo Trail, Shawneeland, with first-degree murder and a related firearm offense in the shooting death of his brother. Authorities found the man's body at his home on Thursday during a search of the residence after a Clarke County investigator learned he may have been in danger, according to court documents
Justin Slater remains incarcerated without bond in the Potomac Highland Regional Jail in Augusta, W.Va. He is scheduled to appear today before a judge in Hardy County Circuit Court, possibly for an extradition hearing, Clerk Janet S. Ferrell said.
A judge on Monday appointed attorney Dave Judy to represent Justin Slater.
Meanwhile, the Clarke County Sheriff's Office and Commonwealth's Attorney Suzanne "Suni" Perka are awaiting a report from the state medical examiner's office in Charleston, W.Va., on the body of a woman found Saturday at the former home of the Slaters' parents at 111 Timberline Drive, Lost City.
The body has not yet been positively identified as that of Justin Slater's estranged girlfriend, Kayleigh Marie Plamondon, who was reported missing from Clarke County as of June 9.
An official at the West Virginia medical examiner's office said she could not release information about the cause and manner of death of the body, which had been determined. She referred all questions to the Clarke County Sheriff's Office.
Plamondon, 22, of White Post, has been identified by authorities as the estranged girlfriend of Justin Slater.
Clarke County Sheriff Anthony W. "Tony" Roper said Tuesday that investigators originally intended to take the body to the medical examiner's office in Morgantown. But due to "the advanced decomposition" of the body, they needed to send it to the main office in Charleston, he said.
Roper said he and Perka have decided not to release the cause and manner of death of the body, determined Monday, until they receive the full report, which also would positively identify the victim.
Meanwhile, documents filed in Hardy County Circuit Court indicate that authorities on Monday found a gun and ammunition in the car last driven by Justin Slater.
Hardy County Sheriff's Office Deputy B.C. Ward recovered a 9 mm Kel Tec in a box and a 9 mm magazine with one unspent round from a 1996 Volkswagen, according to a search warrant executed Monday. The vehicle was reported stolen from Pine Grove in Schuylkill County, Pa. The deputy also found numerous items with the name of the person identified as the owner of the vehicle.
Ward searched the vehicle with regard to an offense of knowingly and willingly concealing or attempt to conceal a deceased human body. The deputy wanted to search the vehicle for human remains, firearms, body parts or tissue, knives, rags or blankets which may have been used to conceal a human corpse as well as any clothing worn by Justin Slater.
Authorities state in court papers that Justin Slater led them to the Timberline Drive house where they found the unidentified body. There they recovered a pair of blue jeans, three pillow cases, a bed cover and a shirt -- all stained with blood. They also recovered two sheets described in the search warrant property receipt as "blood pooled."
An obituary published online at the Web site www.legacy.com says a funeral service for Gregory Slater was to be conducted Tuesday at Omps Funeral Home's Amherst Chapel. Burial was planned at Mt. Olive Cemetery in Hayfield.