Ex-Cop Michael Slager Found Guilty of Murder in Walter Scott Shooting

Ex-Cop Michael Slager Found Guilty of Murder in Walter Scott Shooting

Ex-Cop Michael Slager Found Guilty of Murder in Walter Scott Shooting

A white former police officer who shot and killed an unarmed black man fleeing a 2015 traffic stop in SC could learn as soon as Thursday whether he will spend the rest of his life in prison for violating the motorist's civil rights. The sentencing guidelines call for 19 to 24 years in prison, the judge says, and he will make a more specific determination later.

Slager, 36, "acted out of malice and and forethought, shooting dead an unarmed and fleeing Walter Scott", U.S. District Judge David Norton told the court Thursday after several days of testimony, according to the Charleston Post and Courier.

Judy Scott on turned toward Slager on Thursday and said her faith in God gives her the ability to forgive him for killing her son.

Scott's family members addressed the court after Norton's ruling. Slager's attorneys - who contend that Scott wrestled a stun gun away from Slager, right before the witness with the cell phone began taping the incident - have argued for far greater leniency. She then looked directly at him. "I forgive you. Forgiveness is in my heart".

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In the dashcam video, Slager is asking Scott questions about insurance and vehicle ownership. State prosecutors were set to retry him earlier this year, but as part of a plea agreement, Slager pleaded guilty to a federal civil rights violation for using excessive force and SC agreed to drop the murder charge.

Mother Jones covered that trial and the events that led up to it in a feature story that included a visit to the academy where Slager was trained. He could have found him guilty of voluntary manslaughter.

The video that was shown in federal court had captions underneath, giving a transcript of what Slager and Scott said.

The case made global headlines when a cell phone video of the shooting surfaced, and became a flashpoint in the ongoing debate about the use of force by police.

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At this week's hearing, attorneys for Slager and the state called expert witnesses to the stand to bolster rival interpretations of the video and audio, which included some dash-cam footage from Slager's auto. Slager's claim that Scott tried to use the Taser against the officer during the ordeal was contradicted by the video.

"I think everybody's just ready to close this chapter of life and start the next chapter", Scott family lawyer Justin Bamberg said.

Anthony Imel, an Federal Bureau of Investigation expert specializing in audio and video analysis, testified Monday how he enhanced Santana's video to highlight where Slager's stun gun lay, on the ground, several feet behind the officer as he ran after and shot Scott. "It took me a long time".

The former officer pulled Scott over on April 4, 2015, for a broken brake light.

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