CHARLESTON, S.C. – The Latest on the trial of a white former South Carolina police officer charged with murder in the shooting of an unarmed black motorist (all times local):
Jurors in the Michael Slager murder trial are going home for the weekend. They have deliberated more than 16 hours over three days in the case of the white former South Carolina patrolman charged in the shooting death of Walter Scott.
Scott who was black, was shot five times in the back running from a traffic stop in April of 2015. The shooting was captured on cellphone video that stunned the nation.
At one point Friday it appeared jurors were deadlocked when the judge read a letter from one of them saying that he could not vote to convict Slager and was not about to change his mind.
But the jury foreman said he thought the panel could still reach a unanimous verdict and the deliberations continued.
Defense attorneys representing Michael Slager in his murder trial have asked for a mistrial after a juror sent the judge a letter saying he could not vote to convict the former South Carolina patrolman charged in the shooting death of a black motorist.
Judge Clifton Newman read the letter to the court in which the juror wrote he “can’t in good conscience approve a guilty verdict” and would not change his mind.
The jury foreman asked the judge for a clarification of the law in hopes of being able to return to the courtroom with a unanimous verdict. If the 12 jurors cannot agree on a verdict, then a mistrial would likely be declared.
Slager is charged with murder in the shooting death of 50-year-old Walter Scott, who was shot five times in the back while running from Slager during a traffic stop in North Charleston last year. In addition to the murder charge, the jury can consider voluntary manslaughter.
The judge in the case of a former police officer charged with murdering a black motorist has told jurors – who indicated that they were unable to reach a verdict – to continue to deliberate.
Circuit Judge Clifton Newman told the jurors Friday afternoon that they should try again to reach a verdict in the trial of former South Carolina patrolman Michael Slager.
The jury had sent the judge a message a 1 p.m. Friday that they wanted to hear the testimony of a man who took cellphone video of Slager shooting black motorist Walter Scott. Shortly after, jurors sent the judge a note saying they could not agree on a verdict.
Jurors have already deliberated about 14 hours over three days.
Slager is charged in the shooting death of 50-year-old Walter Scott, who was shot five times in the back while running from Slager during a traffic stop in North Charleston last year.
Jurors deciding the fate of a white former South Carolina patrolman charged with murder in the shooting death of a black motorist have now deliberated more than 12 hours in the case.
The jury began its discussions in the Michael Slager trial on Wednesday evening. Deliberations entered a third day on Friday.
Slager is charged in the shooting death of 50-year-old Walter Scott, a motorist who was shot five times in the back while running away from a traffic stop in North Charleston in April of last year.
The shooting was captured on cellphone video by a man walking to work. It was shown widely by the media and shared on the internet and stunned the nation.
The 35-year-old Slager was fired and charged with murder after the video surfaced.
The jury can also consider a lesser charge of voluntary manslaughter.
Deliberations in the Michael Slager murder trial in South Carolina have entered a third day as jurors weigh the fate of a fired policeman charged in the shooting death of an unarmed black motorist.
Circuit Judge Clifton Newman told the jurors Friday morning that the court could not tell them how the heat of passion may differ from fear. The jury asked the question late Thursday but the judge said that’s an issue jurors must decide.
Slager testified he feared for his life when he shot 50-year-old Walter Scott as Scott fled a traffic stop.
The jury can return a verdict of voluntary manslaughter, which is killing someone in the heat of passion. The shooting of Scott was captured on a cellphone video that stunned the nation.