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Solicitor releases statement on Walter Scott's death; Andy Savag - Live5News.com | Charleston, SC | News, Weather, Sports

Solicitor releases statement on Walter Scott's death; Andy Savage representing officer

Michael Slager (Source: CCDC) Michael Slager (Source: CCDC)
NORTH CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) - Ninth Circuit Solicitor Scarlett Wilson said she will be working with the South Carolina Law Enforcement Division to seek an indictment against Michael Slager who is charged in the death of Walter Scott. 

"This case involves members of the North Charleston Police Department. Shortly after the incident Mayor Keith Summey and Police Chief Edward Driggers, though not required by law, wisely chose to immediately request that the case be independently investigated by the South Carolina Law Enforcement Division," said Wilson in a statement released on Wednesday.

Also on Wednesday, Attorney Andy Savage announced that he was representing Slager. 

Savage released the following statement Wednesday afternoon: 

Our firm has been formally retained to represent Officer Slager.  We filed a formal Notice of Appearance with the Clerk of Court and we have initiated our investigation.  I suspect it will take some time.  As we focus in on the facts, we will probably have more to say, but it is far too early for us to be saying what we think.  Slager's previous counsel fell into that trap and we have no intention of doing our client further harm.

In Wilson's statement, she addressed Scott's family saying that she had met with them face-to-face and spoke with their attorneys regularly over the past few days.

"This is a very difficult time for them, but they have acted and reacted with dignity and grace," Wilson said."We are grateful for their patience, understanding and cooperation with us." 

Wilson's full statement is below: 

My thoughts and prayers are with the Scott family. I have had an opportunity to meet with them face-to-face and to speak with their attorneys regularly over the past few days. This is a very difficult time for them, but they have acted and reacted with dignity and grace. We are grateful for their patience, understanding and cooperation with us.

As a lawyer and prosecutor, I am subject to special rules limiting my ability to make public comments about pending cases and defendants in criminal matters. For these reasons, my office cannot comment on the merits of the case. By law, the defendant is presumed innocent unless and until he is proven guilty.

My role is to hold accountable those who harm others unlawfully, regardless of profession. This office does not dictate nor comment upon police policy, training and procedure. I am, however, deeply concerned when those who are sworn to serve and protect violate the public's trust.

It is extremely important to me that I be open and transparent with the public about the legal proceedings and the continuing investigation into this matter.

This case involves members of the North Charleston Police Department. Shortly after the incident Mayor Keith Summey and Police Chief Edward Driggers, though not required by law, wisely chose to immediately request that the case be independently investigated by the South Carolina Law Enforcement Division (SLED). As in any case, SLED has briefed me continually throughout the investigation and we have met on multiple occasions. I have advised them on many of the legal aspects of the investigation and the charges. We remain united in our approach to this investigation and prosecution.

Moving forward, we will continue to analyze and evaluate the evidence in this case, working with SLED to seek an indictment(s). Unlike other states, South Carolina does not have an investigative grand jury system for our counties. Our Charleston Grand Jury will not meet again until the month of May.

My office is committed to notifying the public and the media if/when the Charleston County Grand Jury returns indictment(s) against the Defendant and when other court hearings are scheduled.

The Defendant has made an appearance at bond court. Because of the nature of the charge, South Carolina law requires that bond be set by a Circuit Court judge. At this time, we have not received a defense request for bond. When/if we do, the public will be notified as to the time and place of the hearing.

Copyright 2015 WCSC. All rights reserved. 

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