Ex-South Carolina cop could soon learn fate for motorist's shooting
Ex-South Carolina cop could soon learn fate for motorist's shooting
Former South Caro... Posted Dec. 6 2017 3:22 AM Updated Dec. 6 2017 10:37 AM
07 December, 2017, 19:34
U.S. District Judge David Norton had to decide whether Michael Slager's shooting of Walter Scott in April 2015 was manslaughter or murder before he sentences the ex-officer.
Slager pleaded guilty in federal court in May to violating Scott's civil rights by shooting him without justification.
"There's nothing in Michael Slager's background, from birth to today, of any racial animus or any harassment of minority members of the community", lawyer Andy Savage said. "I would like (for you) to sentence the defendant to the strongest sentence the law will allow because he murdered my one and only father", Scott said. Hit five times in the back, Scott crumples to the ground, falling facedown. The state murder charge was dropped as part of Slager's federal plea deal.
The video, shot by an immigrant from the Dominican Republic who was passing by the vacant lot where the shooting took place, showed Slager coolly taking aim and firing eight shots at Scott, 50, as he fled.
A 3-D expert testified for the defense that the taser could've landed behind Slager because Scott threw it there, or it fell and bounced behind him. That avoided another state trial and left sentencing in the hands of a judge.
The bystander's video started recording after the struggle between Slager and Scott.
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After the shooting, Slager picked up his stun gun and placed it next to Scott. Slager has maintained he was merely securing the weapon. Prosecutors think he put it there to bolster his self-defense story. But there were no complaints from the Scotts about the findings from the judge, who also determined that Slager had made false and misleading statements.
On Wednesday, Scott's youngest son spoke so he could return to his high school classes. "I will no longer see my dad at cookouts, family reunions. watching him sing, or seeing him in person".
"I miss my father every day", Miles Scott told the judge through tears. The former North Charleston officer faces a possible life sentence, although federal officials have recommended far less. But the judge was not bound by that decision.
The judge said he will announce his decision later Thursday but will sentence the former officer to a minimum of 235 months, or almost 20 years, in prison.
SC has been aggressive in charging white officers who shoot unarmed black people.
A state criminal trial for Slager had resulted in a hung jury.
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