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Man gets life in Quillen murder

A 32-year-old Letcher County man has been formally sentenced for his role in the August 2006 slaying of 69-year-old Jackie Von Quillen.

Letcher Circuit Judge Sam Wright last week sentenced David Shawn Slaven to life in prison without the possibility of parole or probation for at least 25 years. Slaven pleaded guilty in February to helping his wife, Missy Slaven, choke Quillen to death with a nylon strap.

Slaven was sentenced to an additional 60 years in prison for three counts of complicity to theft of more than $300 (including a firearm), one count of complicity to first-degree robbery, one count of complicity to tampering with physical evidence, and one count of complicity to first-degree burglary.

Wright accepted three victims’ impact statements written by family members of Quillen, but denied a request by Quillen’s daughter, Regina Quillen, to read her statement aloud to Slaven at the May 7 hearing. Wright told Regina Quillen, who had said she wanted Slaven to hear her words, that doing so would give the family closure but is not allowed as part of the judicial process. Wright also told Regina Quillen that Slaven and his attorney had reviewed the victim impact statements and were aware of them.

Under an agreement reached February 25 among Slaven, Slaven’s attorneys, and Letcher Commonwealth’s Attorney Edison G. Banks II, Slaven must testify against his ex-wife, Misty Michelle Franks-Slaven, when she goes on trial July 28.

As part of the agreement Slade made a “sworn video statement confirming that he did not act alone in the murder of Jackie Von Quillen.”

The plea agreement Slaven and Banks signed in February was also approved by Letcher County Sheriff Danny Webb, who solved the case, and by Quillen’s surviving adult children.

The agreement says Slaven’s statement must be “truthful, complete and accurate,” and that Slaven provide “the names of any and all parties having any role whatsoever in the murder, including the planning or commission of the murder, as well as provide any motive for such murder.”

The agreement says Slaven must also provide the names of “any and all parties who may have participated in the robbery of Quillen, the theft of his property, the removal and concealment of the body, and/or any attempt to conceal any of these several crimes.”

At the time he was murdered, Quillen was renting a small home to Slaven and Franks for $150 a month. Quillen was murdered on the day the first month’s rent was due.

When they were arrested three days after Quillen was reported missing, Slaven and Franks were living in a tent on a reclaimed mountaintop strip mine between the community of Thornton and the area of Craft’s Colly where Quillen’s body was found. Quillen’s white GEO automobile was found hidden on the road leading to the mine site. A gun stolen from Quillen was recovered from where Slaven had hidden it in a Craft’s Colly home.

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