(CN) – A South Carolina judge on Monday denied bond to the former North Charleston police officer accused of shooting to death an unarmed black motorist during a traffic stop.
Andy Savage, Michael Slager’s defense attorney, argued strenuously last week that his client should be transferred from the Charleston County jail to house arrest pending his trial, presenting over 153-pages of evidence and related documents.
In the end, however, Presiding Judge Clifton Newman concluded he could not send Slager home.
“The South Carolina Constitution provides that bail may be denied to persons charges with offenses punishable by life imprisonment,” Newman wrote. “Further, section 17-50-30 of the Code of Laws of South Carolina provides that the Court must balance the nature and circumstances of the offense charge with or against any unreasonable danger to the community or risk of flight.”
Newman noted that during last week’s hearing, both Savage and the prosecutor, Solicitor Scarlett Wilson, “argued extensively” and presented a large amount of evidence.
“The State presented persuasive evidence that included memoranda of interviews with Defendant, a memorandum of interview with the alleged eyewitness and still images of the shooting that resulted in the death of Walter Scott.”
In conclusion, Newman said, “After careful consideration of all of the evidence presented and the nature and circumstances of the offense, the Court finds that release of Defendant would constitute an unreasonable danger to the community and the request for release on bond should be denied.”
In a statement, Slager’s attorney, Andy Savage, said, “We share Michael’s disappointment in today’s court decision but remain firmly convinced that following a review of all the evidence, a jury of Michael’s peers will find that he was free of any criminal intent in his actions on April 4, 2015.”
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