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Woman pleads guilty in landlord’s murder




Formal sentencing is set for August 18 for a 34-year-old Letcher County woman who pleaded guilty last week to helping murder her landlord in August 2006.

Misty Michelle Franks Slaven pleaded guilty June 26 to complicity to capital murder, complicity to first-degree robbery, three counts of complicity to theft of more than $300 (including a firearm), complicity to tampering with physical evidence, and complicity to first-degree burglary for her role in the murder of 69-yearold Jackie Von Quillen, who was choked to death with a nylon strap.

Letcher Commonwealth’s Attorney Edison G. Banks II will recommend that Slaven be sentenced to life in prison without possibility of parole for at least 25 years. Banks also agreed to recommend that Slaven be sentenced to 20 years on both the robbery charge and burglary charge, and to five years on each of the other charges.

Misty Slaven’s husband, David Shawn Slaven, entered a guilty plea in February to the same charges as Misty Slaven. Letcher Circuit Judge Sam Wright sentenced David Slaven on May 7 to life in prison without the possibility of parole for at least 25 years.

David 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.

Under an agreement reached among Misty Slaven, her attorneys and Banks, Slaven will make a “sworn video statement confirming that she did not act alone in the murder of Jackie Von Quillen.”

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.”

The plea agreement Slaven and Banks signed on Thursday was also approved by Letcher County Sheriff Danny Webb, who solved the case, and by Quillen’s surviving adult children. At the time he was murdered, Quillen was renting a small home to the Slavens for $150 a month. Quillen was murdered on the day the first month’s rent was due.

Authorities have always believed David Slaven’s original story – that he was driving Quillen’s car from Deane to Craft’s Colly when Misty Slaven, who was seated behind Quillen, began choking him with a nylon strap. Investigators also believe David Slaven was telling the truth when he told them that after he and Misty Slaven dragged Quillen to the former dam area of Snake Valley Lake, an old payto fish lake in Craft’s Colly, Misty Slaven made sure Quillen was dead by using her foot to keep Quillen’s head submerged in a small pool of water while she smoked a cigarette.

When they were arrested three days after Quillen was reported missing, David and Misty Slaven 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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