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Murder suspect has history of run-ins with the law

Police say Slocum has not revealed motive
2011-07-15T16:51:00Z 2012-08-06T08:44:45Z Murder suspect has history of run-ins with the lawDON LEHMAN -- Glens Falls Post-Star

WHITE CREEK -- In March 2010, as he neared the end of parole for a grand larceny conviction, Matthew A. Slocum stole his mother's 2003 Ford Mustang and drove it to his uncle's home in New Hampshire.

Slocum and the vehicle were found in New Hampshire days later. The car was returned to New York, and Slocum was arrested. But his mother, Lisa Harrington, refused to have him prosecuted, officials said.

Matthew Slocum wound up back in state prison to serve the remainder of his 1 1/3- to 4-year state prison sentence, which amounted to two months.

He was released on June 30, 2010, and he was not on parole because he had served 4 years between prison and parole.

Thirteen months later, on the morning of July 13, 2011, police say Slocum stole the very same Mustang and again drove it to his uncle's home in southwestern New Hampshire.

This time, he took the car after he allegedly shot his mother, her husband, Daniel A. Harrington, and her husband's son, Josh O'Brien, to death before dawn Wednesday in their Turnpike Road home in Eagle Bridge. He allegedly set the home on fire afterward.

Alerted by local police to the possibility he might flee to New Hampshire again, New Hampshire State Police were watching the uncle's home in Gilsum, N.H., when the black Mustang appeared and the driver tried to hide the car under a blue tarp outside the home, police said.

A standoff of more than four hours ensued before Slocum, 23, was taken into custody.

Police said both he and his girlfriend, Loretta Colegrove, cooperated with police after they were found. She was in the home at the time of the killings but has not been charged, according to police.

The police investigation continued Friday, with Washington County sheriff's investigators awaiting final word on autopsies of the three victims, as well as formal identification of the bodies, Undersheriff Matthew Mabb said.

Police were also working to recover guns that were stolen from the home and may have been used in the shootings, Mabb said. Police were told the weapons were abandoned on a roadside in Massachusetts on Wednesday, he said.

Police have not determined what they believe prompted Slocum to kill the three, the undersheriff said. While investigators have said he "cooperated," he has not provided details about what transpired before the early morning deaths.

"He hasn't revealed anything that would indicate a motive," Mabb said.

Police are looking into information from relatives that the Harringtons had been asking Slocum to move out of their home, Mabb said.

"There has been some talk about that," he said.

Authorities said Slocum has had years of run-ins with the law.

In 2006, as he dealt with cascading legal problems that were pushing him to state prison, Slocum was reviewed by Washington County Drug Court officials for possible participation in the county's drug court program for felons. There were indications he was abusing alcohol and marijuana during a months-long crime spree, officials said.

The coordinator who reviewed his background made it clear he was not ready for the program in a report that cited Slocum's "extreme anger" issues and emotional problems, an official who reviewed the report said. The person requested anonymity because the report was not public information.

Washington County District Attorney Kevin Kortright said his office was not in favor of allowing Slocum into the drug court program because of his criminal history, and prosecutors sought a state prison sentence instead.

Slocum wound up sentenced to 1 1/3 to 4 years in state prison for grand larceny in connection with two home burglaries and for his involvement in the 2005 theft of a safe from a Cambridge grocery. He was paroled in 2009 but violated parole twice and was returned to state prison both times.

Cambridge-Greenwich Police Chief George Bell said Slocum's mother came to his home the night last year that her car was taken, asking for his help.

Bell said it was common for her to intervene on her son's behalf during his run-ins with the law - beyond what police typically see with parents whose children repeatedly get arrested.

"Any time he got in trouble, she came to us about it," he said. "She always defended him. I think she was intimidated by him."

Relatives of the family spoke outside court Thursday night about how much Harrington did for her son.

"She did everything for that kid," Harrington's brother, Raymond Coon, said, adding that Slocum didn't deserve to live for what he was accused of doing.

Slocum's extensive criminal history included a sexual misconduct arrest for allegedly having sex with an underage girl in 2005, as well as involvement in the 2005-2006 burglary and larceny cases.

There is also a pending harassment charge in Greenwich Town Court against him for allegedly making a threat toward another person, though details of that charge were not available Friday.

He has been charged with three counts of second-degree murder and one count of first-degree arson and is being held in Washington County Jail without bail pending a preliminary hearing on Tuesday in White Creek Town Court.

He could face 100-years-to-life in state prison if convicted of all four charges.

Copyright 2015 Glens Falls Post-Star. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

(11) Comments

  1. listen2me
    Report Abuse
    listen2me - July 19, 2011 6:07 am
    It is typical of libs to come out of their closets when people make spelling errors, or choose to enlighten us on their postings. It makes up for their own pathetic deficiencies...both personal and political.
  2. OldGuy
    Report Abuse
    OldGuy - July 18, 2011 2:17 am
    PoliticoQB - I guarantee you that somebodies inability to spell (including my own) never stopped past generations from being able to feed their family with a gun or taking out a home intruder with one. Neither did it stop anyone from knowing the difference between right and wrong, or "shoot/don't shoot".

    That's still true today, as people must beat out a quick comment here of what's on their minds, then return to the reality of coping with life, while a few others have the luxury of being able to perform "mind experiments from observations" at the level of Aristotle, the philosopher. As I recall, if we had remained enthralled with great minds instead of practical applications, the sun would still revolve around the earth and Abraham Lincoln would have remained just a noteworthy backwoodsman.

    People's opinions remain in and of themselves important and understandable no matter how badly they are misspelled, and are not a reflection of their other abilities.
  3. politicoQB
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    politicoQB - July 17, 2011 12:50 pm
    "... A place where people feel safe in socitietety... Etc etc"
    Welp, as long as folks like you 'watch over thier famlyies with guns' then we won't ever be safe.
    And certainly never safe from impending societal illiteracy either.
  4. the woo woo kid
    Report Abuse
    the woo woo kid - July 17, 2011 12:06 pm
    politicoQB said: "QbyGuy- you ask why these types don't get more jailtime: It is at least partially because millions of harmless dope dealers are locked up at our expense. You know the *majority* of prisoners are there for non-violent drug crimes, right?"

    Harmless Dope Dealers ? For real?
  5. local soldier
    Report Abuse
    local soldier - July 16, 2011 11:14 pm
    It's sick ppl like this that make our small towns feel unsafe. I watch over my family and my home with a gun because it could have been me and my family that he shot and killed. It could be anybody coming through the door for any reason. A drug crazed theif lookin to steal money for more drugs or just a rush. Our Lil home town was safe to stroll about at one point now we have kids going missing (that young boy a few years.ago. I rode the school bus w him) then we have ppl getting murdered miles from our house? Instead of bulls at school we have to worry about abductions and murders what happened to societiey a place were we could feel safe and our kids could play outside?
  6. politicoQB
    Report Abuse
    politicoQB - July 16, 2011 10:39 pm
    QbyGuy- you ask why these types don't get more jailtime: It is at least partially because millions of harmless dope dealers are locked up at our expense. You know the *majority* of prisoners are there for non-violent drug crimes, right?
  7. Rieux
    Report Abuse
    Rieux - July 16, 2011 8:00 pm
    When these tragedies occur everybody just shakes their heads and says "Oh, what a pity."
    Well I blame everybody. including myself. We live in the society of our choosing.
  8. QsbyGuy
    Report Abuse
    QsbyGuy - July 16, 2011 3:13 pm
    So someone with a criminal history gets in more trouble while on parole and is sent back to prison for 1 1/3 - 4 years and he stays 2 months??? Can someone explain that logic? Why does it seem so many issues arrise from people that get slaps on the wrist. When punishment is reduced so much time after time, is anyone shocked that when someone gets almost next to nothing for punishment they repeat the behavior and it gets worse. How about our legal system looks in the mirror.
  9. fxkane
    Report Abuse
    fxkane - July 16, 2011 11:28 am

    Damned if you do, damned if you don't. If a mother doesn't ask for leniency and tolerance for her son, she's viewed as more of a monster than a mom. When she does ask that her son be given chance after chance, she is viewed as a coddling, over-indulgent mom--and may end up victimized herself.

    It is reported here that she seemed "intimidated" by her son... This is very telling and is almost certainly explains her role in this tragic story which, of course, was no role at all.

    There may be other role players other than the leading one played by her violent son, but as of now, this is a one character play.
  10. casual_observer
    Report Abuse
    casual_observer - July 15, 2011 11:22 pm
    this is why we need the death penalty. and why is the girlfriend not in custody? seems doubtful she is completely innocent.
  11. shaq
    Report Abuse
    shaq - July 15, 2011 9:25 pm
    Just a microcosm of our society. Laws are made to "not be too hard on people" and they can continue to navigate the=rough the system without any hard punishment. When they get out, they get welfare or SSI. Nobody has to do anything that they do not want to or anything too hard. Things nned to change. Make your legislators respond to questions about these issues instead of voting for people because they "can work with others" or say politically correct things. The average person--- the ones who work, pay taxes, raise families,and do not get in trouble with the law have to start taking back the country. I know some liberal minded people may think this sounds harsh, but if you do, you are the problem. C'mon people, wake up, before it is too late.


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