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Officer: West Virginia woman denied she shot her ex-husband

Jurors also heard testimony from victim, state trooper and human resources director

July 13, 2011|By MATTHEW UMSTEAD | matthewu@herald-mail.com
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MARTINSBURG, W.Va. — In an interview with a West Virginia State Police sergeant, Flor Demaria Slone denied she shot her ex-husband, but her recorded statement, obtained shortly after the Oct. 21, 2009, shooting, apparently was lost, the police officer testified Wednesday in circuit court.

Indicted in May 2010 on felony counts of kidnapping, attempted first-degree murder, attempted malicious assault and malicious assault, Slone is accused of shooting her ex-husband, Stephen K. Slone, after learning he had removed her from his health- and life-insurance policies.

The second day of the trial began with jurors hearing more testimony from Stephen K. Slone while he was being cross-examined by defense attorney Thomas L. Stanley.

Jurors also heard testimony from former state police Sgt. Keith Martin II and Kevin Chambers, who was the human resources director at Stephen Slone's employer in 2009.

 Two state police Forensic Crime Laboratory analysts also were called to the witness stand to share their findings after studying items recovered for possible DNA and gunshot residue evidence.

Now employed as a federal air marshal, Martin testified that he made a copy of the audio recording of Flor Slone's statement, which was recorded with equipment installed in his cruiser. Martin said he gave the copy to the lead investigating officer, Trooper J.D. Schuessler, to the best of his recollection.

Martin said he found Flor Slone at her Jefferson County home after an advisory was issued to try to determine her whereabouts.

Martin confirmed that he found her less than 30 minutes after the shooting was reported at 8:23 p.m. He said Flor Slone agreed to swabs of her face and hands for a gunshot residue analysis, but told him that she was no longer wearing the clothes she had been wearing earlier that evening and had "washed up."

Martin said Flor Slone also provided him with the clothing she said she had been wearing earlier the day of the shooting.

Analysis of the swabs and the clothing yielded no evidence of gunshot residue, Koren Powers, a state police forensic analyst, testified Wednesday.

A plastic Food Lion grocery bag that was seized at the scene of the shooting in Stephen Slone's home was found to have gunshot residue in it, Powers said.

The bag had two holes in it, Powers testified.

Slone testified that he was seated in a light brown recliner in the corner of the living room when Flor approached, fired a .22-caliber pistol into a square pillow that she held up near him and then fired the gun a second time after the first shot did not go through the cushion.

The second bullet was analyzed for blood, but none was found, state police forensic analyst Amy Shanahan said.

Stanley, for the second time in as many days of the trial, had Slone sit in the chair to draw attention to the apparent trajectory of the second bullet, which went through Slone, then through the recliner and the wall behind it into a wood stud.

Martin testified that Flor Slone told him in the recorded statement that Stephen Slone, who had moved out and relocated to a home at 5409 Winchester Ave. in Berkeley County, asked her to bring a gun over to his house.

Martin said Slone stated that she gave him the firearm, but didn't shoot him. Stephen Slone testified that he didn't ask Flor Slone to visit him the day he was shot or to bring the gun, a .22-caliber pistol. Slone also denied telling a neighbor that Slone was coming to visit the day of the shooting.

Martin also testified that Flor Slone indicated in her statement that she was "not happy" about being taken off Stephen Slone's insurance policies.

Chambers testified Wednesday that he advised Slone on Oct. 9, 2009, to let Flor Slone know that she was being removed from the health-insurance policy. The termination of coverage was made effective Oct. 16, Chambers said.

Stephen Slone testified that he had given his wife notice of the insurance issue. Chambers said Stephen Slone indicated he had, but then Chambers testified that he later received a phone message from the defendant, who wanted to know why she had received notice of cancellation regarding her insurance in the mail.

"I was very upset about it," Chambers said.

Chambers indicated that he believed the phone call from Flor Slone was evidence that Stephen Slone had lied to him about notifying her.

While residing in separate homes, the Slones were not legally separated, but that didn't preclude Stephen Slone from making the changes to his insurance. Flor Slone was removed as a beneficiary of his life-insurance policy, which was canceled in March 2010, Chambers testified.

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