The injured son of a murdered couple feared the neighbor accused of shooting him and his parents, posts on a blog attributed to the son suggest.

Robert and Tanna Slatt of Dora Lane, Four States, were shot to death Tuesday afternoon, Marion County Sheriff Junior Slaughter confirmed Wednesday. Their son, Robert Slatt Jr., was also shot and was transported to Ruby Memorial Hospital in Morgantown.

Dale Eagle, whose property off Four States Road abuts the Slatts’ farm, is charged with the murders. Eagle was arraigned before Chief Magistrate Peggy Twyman on two counts of first-degree murder Tuesday evening, just four hours after a 911 call alerted police to the shootings.

He is being held at the North Central Regional Jail in Doddridge County. A bond hearing before a circuit judge has not been scheduled yet, Marion County Prosecutor Patrick Wilson said Wednesday.

Other charges against Eagle may be pending, Slaughter said.

The families were embroiled in a property dispute for some time, which apparently led to verbal and physical altercations, according to reports.

Late Monday night, Robert Jr. posted on his Web log “The Bob Blog” about an incident involving “Dora Lane,” a gravel road that was a source of contention between the families.

“Our wonderful neighbor decided to be cute today,” he wrote. “We went to leave for dinner and there was a tree branch laid across the drive. We had to get out and move it.

“It’s been quiet since the fight in March,” Slatt wrote. “Today was the first time that Dale Eagle has done anything to even acknowledge that we exist.”

The time stamp on the post was 10:29 p.m. Monday.

The call to 911 came through central communications at 2:27 p.m. Tuesday — about 16 hours later.

This wasn’t the first time that Slatt, a 31-year-old student at Fairmont State University, wrote about the dispute between the families. In February, he wrote about an incident that occurred between his mother and Eagle.

“The crazy man at the end of the road went after my mom today,” Slatt wrote. “My mom went to get the mail and he decided to run his mouth. My (mom) started to pray openly and he freaked out. I swear there is a demon in the man.”

Less that two weeks ago, Slatt mentioned a property line resolution between his father and Gary Eagle Sr., Dale’s brother.

“We sat down and looked over all the deeds on who owns what as far as property,” he wrote in a May 6 post. “We were able to come to an agreement and Gary Sr. realized that we own the property in question.”

The two were to finalize a transfer of property so that Gary Eagle Jr. could build an access road to his property. Slatt described the experience as a “pleasant” one.

“Now if we can only have that kind of experience with Gary Sr’s brother Dale,” Slatt wrote May 6. “It’s been kinda quiet since he was arrested. We don’t hear a peep.

“That may be a good thing but if it involves Dale then it means he’s just abiding his time until he can come out with both barrels loaded (no pun intended),” he said.

“But it’s quiet for now. Let’s enjoy the calm before the storm shall we?”

On the 200-acre farm, the Slatt family raised alpacas, a domesticated South American animal related to the llama. The animals are not used as beasts of burden like llamas, but are valued for their fleece. The Slatts were members of the non-denominational South Ridge Church, which was recently established in Fairmont.

The Morning Journal of Lorain, Ohio, confirmed that Robert Slatt Sr., a Marion County native, spent 34 years working for Ford Motor Co. there. Tanna Slatt is originally from Ohio, and the couple returned to the husband’s home state after retirement.

Slaughter said the couple may have been shot with a rifle, but the investigation into the incident is ongoing. The Slatts’ bodies have been taken to the state medical examiner’s office for autopsies.

Slaughter said the sheriff’s department was assisted on scene by the State Police, officers from Grant Town, Mannington and Monongah, the Worthington Volunteer Fire Department and the Marion County Rescue Squad.

“In a few minutes, the crime scene was secure, an apprehension was made and medical assistance was given to Bobby Slatt,” Slaughter said. “That’s because of the cooperation of all law enforcement working together.”

E-mail Misty Poe at

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