The white former South Charleston police officer sacked following the fatal shooting of Walter Scott on April 4 has been formally indicted on a murder charge.
Michael Slager was charged with murder only after cell phone footage emerged of him firing eight times at Scott, an unarmed 50-year-old black man who was running away from him after a traffic stop.
‘The jury will make up its own mind after it sees the video and hears the other testimony,’ said prosecutor Scarlett Wilson who announced Slager’s indictment on Monday. No trial date has been set. Walter Scott’s brother Rodney Scott said the family is ‘very happy and pleased’ with the indictment of Slager. In South Carolina, the investigating agency typically presents the case to a grand jury, not the prosecutor.
Wilson also said that the death penalty does not seem to apply in the case because there were no aggravating circumstances such as robbery or kidnapping as required under South Carolina law. The 33-year-old Slager faces 30 years to life in prison if convicted. He has been jailed without bond since his arrest. Slager’s lawyer didn’t want to comment on the indictment.
‘Until we have an opportunity to fully evaluate the state’s case and to compare it with our own investigation we will not be commenting on any aspect of the case,’ Attorney Andy Savage said in a statement.
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