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Saturday, June 22, 2024 | Back issues
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Attorney Seeks Documents to Defend|N. Charleston Cop From Murder Charge

CHARLESTON, S.C. (CN) - High-profile Charleston defense attorney Andy Savage says law enforcement officials have stymied his efforts to prepare a defense for the former North Charleston police officer charged with the murder of an unarmed black man.

Andy Savage took over Michael Slager's case on Wednesday, a day after a cellphone video of the shooting became public.

Savage's past clients include Ali Saleh Kahlah al-Marri, an accused enemy combatant who eventually pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to provide material support to a foreign terrorist organizations, and Al Parish, an economics professor who ran a multimillion-dollar Ponzi scheme from his office at Charleston Southern University.

He is also the Emmy-winning host of the local news show "The Savage Report."

On Friday evening, a written statement from Savage's office said he's had a full slate of meetings with Slager's family members, investigators, potential members of the officer's defense team, but "unfortunately, despite having made requests, he had not received the cooperation from law enforcement that the media has, and he has yet to receive any investigative documents, audio or videotapes, other than a copy of Slager's arrest warrant."

As a result, Savage filed a motion for discovery, and Freedom of Information Act requests with the S.C. Law Enforcement Division, North Charleston Police Chief Eddie Driggers, and Charleston County Coronor Rae Wooten.

Savage took pains not to criticize Ninth Judicial Circuit Solicitor Scarlett Wilson, with whom his office said he has "an excellent working relationship."

"He remains confident that he will receive all pertinent documents, including audio and video tapes, as soon as the solicitor receives them from law enforcement," the statement from his office said.

The office said that Savage will refrain from speaking directly with the media until the family of the dead man, Walter Scott, has "had time to grieve their loss and bury their loved one."

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