Tuesday, May 2, 2017

Michael Slager expected to plead guilty on federal charges in Walter Scott shooting today

Hearing scheduled Tuesday afternoon

Posted by Dustin Waters on Tue, May 2, 2017 at 11:39 AM

click to enlarge Lead defense attorney Andy Savage and former North Charleston officer Michael Slager - GRACE BEAHM/POST AND COURIER
  • Grace Beahm/Post and Courier
  • Lead defense attorney Andy Savage and former North Charleston officer Michael Slager
On the eve of Michael Slager’s federal civil rights trial set for later this month, reports have surfaced that the former North Charleston officer is expected to plead guilty for charges stemming from the shooting death of Walter Scott.

In May 2016, Slager plead not guilty to federal charges of deprivation of rights under the color of law, use of a weapon during the commission of a violent crime, and obstruction of justice. Slager faces a possible sentence of life in prison if convicted, but the possible prison sentence following a plea agreement remain undetermined.

In recent weeks, Slager and his attorneys have maintained the claim that Scott attempted to turn the officer’s Taser against his following a brief struggle after a traffic stop in North Charleston. Slager shared his account of the shooting with SLED investigators before being made aware of the existence of an eyewitness video that differed greatly from what the officer had told agents.

In the video, Scott is seen turning away from the officer and fleeing before Slager opened fire. Scott was approximately 17 feet away from Slager when the first shot rang out. Of the eight shots Slager fired, five struck Scott, killing him.

Slager was also scheduled to face a state retrial on charges of murder later this year. The first state trial, taking place late last year, ended with a hung jury.

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