Judge rules ex-cop Michael Slager committed murder in Walter Scott death


"I think everybody's just ready to close this chapter of life and start the next chapter", Scott family lawyer Justin Bamberg 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. Scott's mother, Judy, turned and spoke directly to Michael Slager.

A pre-sentencing report for Slager found that he committed manslaughter and recommended 10 to almost 13 years in prison. Norton said Thursday that he would give significant weight to those guidelines - but would wait until after he heard testimony from Scott's friends and family before handing down a final sentence. Attorneys on both sides were expected to summon more witnesses to testify about the impact Scott's death and Slager's arrest have had on both families.

The defense said that North Charleston's homicide rates have gone up following the possible chilling effect of Slager's 2016 state murder charges.

Scott had fled his vehicle after Slager pulled him over for a broken taillight on the morning of April 4, 2015. After deploying his stun gun, Slager fired eight bullets at Scott as he ran away, hitting him five times in the back. In his closing argument, defense attorney Andy Savage acknowledged the shooting was criminal but reiterated the stance that his client was protecting himself and feared for his own safety.

Walter Scott in his Coast Guard days. "He was not in the throes of passion".

Federal authorities allege Slager obstructed justice by misleading officials about his encounter with Scott, including moving the stun gun from where it had fallen prior to the shooting.

The day began with a cross-examination of defense witness and forensic psychiatrist Dr. Charles Morgan.

The mother of a slain black motorist says she forgives the white former SC police officer who killed her son. Slager chased him for 200 yards and, then, the two men scuffled.

Slager's initial trial in state court ended in a mistrial due to a hung jury.

In an unusual move, attorneys for Slager called the state prosecutor to the stand to question her about their assertions that she and federal prosecutors unfairly teamed up on Slager.

Had there been no video, prosecutors said, it is likely Slager would not have been prosecuted.

For three days, attorneys representing the federal government and a former SC officer charged in an unarmed black motorist's shooting death have presented technical testimony to a judge considering how much time Michael Slager should spend in federal prison.

The shooting was captured on a bystander's cellphone and shared around the world, setting off Black Lives Matter protests across the U.S.as demonstrators said it was another egregious example of police officers' mistreatment of African-Americans.