Judge: Ex-cop committed murder in shooting death of motorist in 2015

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Slager pleaded guilty in May to violating Walter Scott's civil rights. He faces up to life in prison when he is sentenced by a judge, perhaps as soon as this week. After the father of four ran from the traffic stop, Slager shot him from behind eight times, hitting him five times. He said he misses watching football games with his dad and can't fathom not being able to watch with him the game they both loved.

The shooting was caught on video by a witness.

That includes use of Slager's stun gun, which the former officer says Walter Scott grabbed and turned on him, causing Slager to fear for his life and shoot in self-defense.

This week's sentencing hearings are a chance for Judge Norton to decide the basis for Slager's punishment: second-degree murder, as the federal prosecution is arguing, or manslaughter, as posited by the defense.

"I miss my father every day", the high school student said through tears.


Convictions in police officer shootings are uncommon in the USA and prison time is even rarer. "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.

Federal prosecutor Jared Fishman said Slager changed his story of what happened multiple times and wasn't justified in shooting Scott.

Scott's mother has said she forgives the officer.

A pre-sentencing report for Slager found that he committed manslaughter and recommended 10 to almost 13 years in prison.

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.


Norton's sentence later Thursday will bring to an end one of the most notorious criminal cases in modern S.C. history, a case that attracted worldwide attention after a bystander's video of Scott's fatal shooting went viral on the Internet.

State prosecutors had tried Slager for murder last fall, but the judge declared a mistrial after a mostly white jury failed to reach a unanimous verdict-either on the charge of murder or a lesser manslaughter charge.

Slager shot and killed Scott on April 4, 2015, while Slager was an officer with the North Charleston Police Department. Prosecutors believe the videos depict the officer's callous behavior.

During his exam, Slager told the doctor he remembered having a "scuffle" with Scott but otherwise didn't recall specific details from any fight the men had.

On Monday, Savage repeated his criticism that the state and federal governments teamed up unfairly on his client. "I'll let the court make that decision". Scott's brother Anthony Scott echoed that sentiment.


Scott's mother, Judy Scott, said she was on the phone with her when he was pulled over and told him to comply with the officer's demands "so there wouldn't be any trouble".

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