Broward County

Was a Fort Lauderdale man fatally shot because a felon wanted a happy birthday?

Darius Slade was arrested Wednesday on murder charges.
Darius Slade was arrested Wednesday on murder charges.

Broward Sheriff’s Office detectives believe a Fort Lauderdale man was fatally shot last month because a prostitute and his boyfriend wanted money to celebrate the boyfriend’s birthday.

Wednesday, Darius Slade, 21, and convicted robber Larry Bostic, 38, who was arrested last month, were charged with first-degree murder Wednesday in the April 11 death of Ferris Finley, Sr. Finley was shot while sitting in his truck at 2744 NW Eighth St. around 3 a.m.

Slade, who works the area as a prostitute, originally told officers on the scene he’d left the truck after performing a sex act on Finley and heard gunshots. According to the arrest paperwork, Slade said he ran back toward the truck. Once there, he admitted wiping it down but said he did it to prevent his fingerprints and DNA from falsely implicating him.

The police paperwork says Slade claimed to have no boyfriend, just an ex-boyfriend named Larry Bostic.

Witnesses later told BSO detectives that Slade lied to them when he first spoke to them on the scene. Bostic and Slade had been in a relationship for a year, had been living in the Rashelle Hotel, 825 NW 27th Ave., and were now living at Slade’s aunt’s house. That aligns with court records, which show that Bostic was arrested at the Rashelle on domestic violence charges in October on a partner he said he’d been with for seven months.

A witness named Keila Moreno said Bostic told another person, Matthew Thomas, that he needed to commit a robbery to get money. Thomas told BSO that Bostic seemed almost desperate to get money for a birthday celebration. Other witnesses told police they’d seen Bostic, who was armed, approach Finley’s truck with another man.

Tavares Whitehead admitted to being the second man after his own arrest on a felony habitual traffic violations warrant, Bostic’s arrest affidavit said. But Whitehead claimed he hadn’t been looking for trouble because he knew a warrant was out on him. He said he was with Bostic only because Bostic said he was looking for his cousin and wanted Whitehead to watch his back.

Whitehead told BSO that when they got to Finley’s truck, Bostic threw open the driver’s side door while Slade jumped out the passenger side. Then he heard the gunshot. All three men left the scene, but Slade returned.

The arrest affidavit said video surveillance from a home in the area backed up Whitehead’s version of events.

David J. Neal: 305-376-3559, @DavidJNeal