State Retrial in S.C. Police Shooting Case Set for March

(CN) – Prosecutors in South Carolina will get their second chance to convict former North Charleston police officer Michael Slager of murder beginning on March 1, two months before his federal civil rights trial over the shooting of an unarmed black motorist is set to begin.

Slager is accused of murdering Walter Scott during what started as a routine traffic stop on April 4, 2015. Scott ran from his vehicle after he was stopped by the officer, and Slager later shot him to death.

A widely circulated cellphone video of the shooting showed Scott several feet from the officer when the shots were fired, but Slager and his defense attorneys maintain that a struggle occurred prior to the scene captured by the video and the former policeman feared for his life.

A jury deadlocked in early December over whether to convict Slager of murder or voluntary manslaughter or to find him not guilty. After Circuit Judge Clifton Newman declared a mistrial, Ninth Circuit Solicitor Scarlett Wilson vowed to retry Slager as soon as possible.

Newman announced the scheduling of Slager’s second trial on Thursday afternoon.

Slager is currently free on bail awaiting the start of his second trial and his trial on federal civil rights charges, which is scheduled to begin May 1.