Slager case: More evidence to be examined before judge sets trial date

Slager case: More evidence to be examined before judge sets trial date
Walter Scott. Source: Facebook
Walter Scott. Source: Facebook

NORTH CHARLESTON (WCSC) - A judge presiding over the Michael Slager case says he will not set a trial date until the defense has a chance to examine evidence they received after a status hearing Friday.

The former North Charleston police officer has been in jail since April after he shot and killed Walter Scott, who ran from him during a traffic stop.

Slager's attorney Andy Savage says he plans to send the evidence, which includes the taser used during the traffic stop and Slager's police uniform, to Seattle, Washington for an independent examination.

Savage also filed a motion for a speedy trial, asking for a date to be set in March or April 2016. State prosecutors asked to have Slager's trial in November 2016, after the trial for Emanuel AME Church shooting suspect Dylann Roof.

The defense also questioned whether the state compromised DNA and other evidence found on Slager's taser after the shooting, an argument mentioned in a motion filed on Thursday.

They say a state law enforcement lab found DNA from two people on the taser -- with Slager and Scott as possible matches. They claim the prosecution compromised potential evidence when it sent the taser back to the manufacturer.

The prosecution claims there was nothing left to find on the taser because the SLED test to swab for DNA would have wiped off any fingerprints.

They also said the DNA found on the taser could have come from Slager touching Scott and then his taser and does not mean Scott grabbed the taser during a struggle, as the defense claims.

Another hearing was scheduled for 2:00 p.m. Friday, after Savage said he had reason to believe Slager was being monitored by an agency for reasons unrelated to the case. He also said be believed Slager may have been threatened. Officials have since canceled that hearing, saying the defense and prosecution resolved the issue.

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