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Ex-Fort Drum soldier sentenced to prison over woman’s death at NY music festival

Judge's gavel. (Staff Sgt. Nicholas Rau/U.S. Air Force)

A former Fort Drum soldier has been sentenced to 15 months in prison over a woman’s death the Electric Zoo music festival in 2018.

The New York Post reports Lagaria Slaughter broke down during a remote sentencing hearing in Manhattan federal court Thursday and apologized for supplying a fatal dose of the party drug Molly that caused 20-year-old Katherine Schlegal to overdose at the EDM fest on Randall’s Island in New York.

“I want the family and friends of the victim to know that the person I was back then is not who I am, but a selfish and inconsiderate child wrapped up in something I should not have been,” Slaughter said.

Slaughter, who was a specialist in the U.S. Army before being kicked out after his arrest in 2019, was stationed at Fort Drum in 2018. He traveled from the Upstate New York military base to a NYC nightclub, where he arranged the sale of 57 molly tablets, or MDMA, to fellow Fort Drum soldier Tanner Howell to use with Schlegel and her friend.

Schlegel, a college student from New Cannan, Connecticut, overdosed and died two days later at a New York City hospital.

“Our daughter was the most beautiful, loving, young lady you could ever know. She loved going to concerts. She loved music. She was not a regular drug user,” Katherine’s mother Elena Schlegel said at the sentencing hearing.

Slaughter and Howell were charged in December 2019 after investigators found 10 capsules of molly, 55 doses of LSD, psychedelic mushrooms, a scale, and drug-packaging materials in Slaughter’s barracks at the Jefferson County base. Slaughter was accused of trafficking molly and LSD before and after the Electric Zoo festival, including offering to sell hundreds of capsule to service members at the Fort Drum base in the months following.

Slaughter said Thursday he’s since been diagnosed with “bipolar depression” and struggles to “cope with the events that had taken place.” Since being relieved of duty, he’s found work in a care home, according to the Post.

A judge ordered Slaughter to turn himself in at a federal prison facility in April.

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