It took a Madison County Jury about 4 hours in March to return a guilty verdict in the trial of an Alton man accused of killing an elderly acquaintance. Now, 43-year-old Ray T. Slack will spend 40 years in prison for the March 17, 2011 murder of 77-year-old Robert Garrett. Garrett was killed at his home on Carl Street, which is off of State Street near West Elementary and the Catholic Children's Home.
Slack was convicted of first degree murder and armed robbery, and will have to serve all 40 years, according to state law. The Madison County State's Attorney's Office says Garrett was killed by Ray Slack in an argument over money. Slack allegedly hit Garrett with a concrete bird bath and strangled him. He and another relative allegedly returned to Garrett's home the following day with the intention of robbing him, but alert neighbors noticed the two men in a truck that wasn't normally seen in the neighborhood and called police. The other relative, Herbert L. Slack, was charged with attempted residential burglary and unlawful failure to register as a sex offender. He pleaded guilty to the failure to register charge, and was sentenced to 18 months periodic imprisonment, with credit for time served. He has been in custody since the murder.