Prosecutors file murder, robbery and criminal
deviate conduct charges against Reggion D. Slater for the Aug. 10 murder
of Kate Pokorny.
BY KEN KOSKY Times Staff Writer
VALPARAISO -- Prosecutors believe Reggion D. Slater should die for
what he's accused of doing to convenience store clerk Kate Pokorny.
Slater was charged Wednesday with robbing and murdering the
18-year-old Chesterton High School
graduate. He also was charged with
forcing her to submit to a sex act at gun point.
"We filed the death penalty after consulting with the victim's
parents. ... They requested we file it," said Chief Deputy Prosecutor Brian
Gensel on Wednesday.
Slater, 29, of Gary, appeared before Porter Superior Court Judge
Roger Bradford later Wednesday for an initial hearing. A not guilty plea was
entered on his behalf. Merrillville attorney Jim Thiros would be
representing him, Slater said.
Before being led into the courtroom, Slater was asked if he had any
comment, but he only stared at the reporter.
The charges against him were filed after lab results that police had
been waiting for since August came in. Lab tests came back from the Indiana
State Police lab on Tuesday, which showed fluids found on Pokorny
matched Slater's DNA, according to court documents.
Court documents state Pokorny was murdered Aug. 10 while working at
the Marathon station at U.S. 6 and Meridian Road, north of
Porter County Detective Jerry Kratowicz alleges in court documents
that Slater, an employee of American Bakery in Gary, made a doughnut
delivery to the Marathon station about 10:45 p.m. on Aug. 10. He denied
making the delivery, but it was verified through his route paperwork that
Pokorny signed for the doughnuts.
One of Slater's co-workers, who was delivering across the street,
told police Slater stayed at the Marathon station for an unusually long
time, then drove away at a high rate of speed.
handgun was found nine days later along Ind. 2, where Slater would drive on
his route. Another of Slater's co-workers told police he saw Slater with
a gun matching the description of the found gun.
Kratowicz said police have found out that the gun was stolen and they
have a suspect in the theft. Porter County police hope to establish that
Slater had that specific gun.
Kratowicz said police hope the case against Slater will be further
strengthened once trace evidence like hairs and fibers are done being
analyzed by the FBI.
Slater has not talked with investigators, so police said they still
have no idea what was going through his mind. Slater had only been
working for the bakery for two weeks and had been out of prison only a
year on prior robbery charges in Arkansas. He was sentenced for
those crimes in 1989 and was released in 1998.
Slater will be held in Porter County Jail until his trial on May 1.
An April 3 pre-trial conference and a Feb. 28 omnibus hearing are also
Gensel said the Pokorny family wants closure, and this is the first
step toward that.
"This is what we've been waiting for," said Clare Pokorny, Kate
At a press conference Wednesday, Porter County Sheriff Dave Reynolds
thanked those who helped with the investigation and searches for
"Though we are saddened by this senseless act of violence, we are
confident the results of this investigation will lead to a conviction in
this heinous crime," Reynolds said.
"On behalf of the Porter County Sheriff's Department, I would like to
extend our heartfelt condolences to the parents, family and friends of Katie
Sheriff: 'Prime suspect will be charged' today in Aug. 11 slaying
BY KEN KOSKY
Times Staff Writer
VALPARAISO -- The man who delivered doughnuts to the Marathon station
the night that 18-year-old clerk Kate Pokorny was robbed and killed is
expected to be charged today with the crimes.
Reggion D. Slater, 29, of Gary, is expected to be charged with murder
and possibly other charges.
"I am not at liberty to comment on the investigation until
formal charges are filed," Sheriff Dave Reynolds said Tuesday.
"However, we are anticipating, based on new developing evidence, that
charges will be filed. We're confident the prime suspect will be
Shortly after the murder occurred Aug. 10 at the Marathon station at
U.S. 6 and Meridian Road in Liberty Township, police labeled Slater the
prime suspect. At the time, however, police said they were waiting for DNA
test results before charges could be filed against Slater.
At a news conference today, police are expected to talk about such
issues as the lab results they have been waiting for and the charges.
"I guess the end is coming ... This is what we've been waiting for,"
said Clare Pokorny, Kate Pokorny's mother.
"I'm thankful if she had to endure something, that will provide the
necessary evidence so he can never do this again."
Slater has been jailed since about 10 days after the murder. Porter
County police investigators received a statement from Slater's co-worker
stating that Slater was seen possessing a handgun, something that's not
allowed considering he is on parole after committing two armed robberies in
Slater was taken into custody on a parole violation and also was
charged with unauthorized possession of a handgun, a Class C felony. Because
his parole case had been transferred from Arkansas to Lake County, he
was ordered held without bond in Lake County Jail.
But the gun charge was dropped Monday and Slater was returned to
Porter County Jail on the parole violation.
Police have said that Slater killed Pokorny, an
18-year-old Chesterton High School graduate, days before she was to
start college. Pokorny agreed to work an extra shift, closing the Marathon
station on the night of Aug. 10.
She closed the store at 10:30 that night and signed for the doughnuts
about 11 p.m. She was believed to have been killed shortly after that. Her
partially clothed body was found after a friend stopped by the store and
Pokorny was shot with a single bullet to the head. An autopsy showed
no marks on her body, indicating she did not struggle with the
Police said the murder weapon and some coins were found in August
along Ind. 2 in LaPorte County. The items were found along Slater's doughnut
Police labeled Slater the prime suspect even though the store's
security system videocassette recorder was stolen. The security system theft
is interesting in that a store's security system is what led to Slater's
arrest for two armed robberies in Arkansas in 1989. He served nine years
in prison for those robberies before being released in
From the Times
VALPARAISO -- The man Porter County police
describe as the prime suspect in Kathryn Pokorny's murder sits in the
Lake County Jail on a parole violation. Reggion D. Slater, 29,
of Gary, was transferred to Lake County on Saturday and will be held without
bond.Porter County police expect to continue interviewing him about the
night of Aug. 10 when Pokorny, the clerk working at the Marathon station at
U.S. 6 and Meridian in Liberty Township, was robbed and
murdered. Slater is the doughnut delivery driver who
serviced the station that night. Pokorny signed for the doughnuts at 11
p.m., police said. Anyone with information about the
case should call the Porter County Sheriff's Department at