5 things to know about the Michael Slager trial

5 things to know about the Michael Slager trial
Walter Scott. (Source: Facebook)
Walter Scott. (Source: Facebook)
Bystander video appears to show Scott being shot several times as he ran away from Slager.
Bystander video appears to show Scott being shot several times as he ran away from Slager.

CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) - Jury selection in the trial of Michael Slager is now complete and attorneys are set to deliver opening statements Thursday.

Michael Slager is charged with murder following the death of motorist Walter Scott in 2015.

Here are five things to know about the case:

The Backstory

Investigators say the incident unfolded around 9:30 a.m. on April 4, 2015, when Patrolman First Class Michael Slager, then 33 years old, conducted a traffic stop for a broken tail light.

Dash camera video from Slager's patrol vehicle shows Slager pull 50-year-old Walter Scott over at Advance Auto Parts on Remount Road.

Slager is then seen walking up to Scott's car, asking him for his driver's license and registration, and tells him that he was pulled over because a brake light is out.

After receiving Scott's license, Slager goes back to his patrol car.

About 30 seconds later, Scott gets out of his car, and Slager can be heard saying, "Have a seat in the car!" Scott then sits back inside his vehicle.

Twenty seconds later, Scott is seen running from the vehicle. Slager then can be heard communicating with emergency dispatch officials of the pursuit.

An NCPD sergeant who was conducting a traffic proceeded to Slager's location. At this point, another officer reported that Slager had requested another unit to "step up his response" to his location.

The sergeant said he then heard Slager advise dispatch officials the direction of travel and a description of the suspect as a "black male wearing a blue hat and blue jeans."

While en route, the sergeant reported he heard Slager say he deployed his Taser and was requesting for back-up units, and seconds later said "shots fired and the subject is down, he took my Taser."

According to a police report, Scott was pronounced dead by EMS a short time later.

Claiming he feared for his life, Slager told investigators he shot Scott after he took his Taser and attempted to use it against him.

A man later identified as Feidin Santana came forward with video of the fatal shooting that some say contradicted Slager's account of the shooting.

The video, which brought worldwide attention to the incident, showed Scott being shot five times as he ran away from Slager.

Slager was arrested on April 7, 2015 and charged with murder.

The State Trial

Jury selection started Monday in Slager's state trial, which is being held at the Charleston County Courthouse.

The process was completed Wednesday morning.

The jury deciding whether Slager is guilty of murder is composed of six white men, five white women and one black man. There are six alternates.

Security and Parking in Downtown Charleston

Law enforcement will be positioned the area from Queen Street down to Tradd Street and From King Street over to Meeting Street to help with any issues that may arise as the trials of Slager and accused Emanuel AME Church shooter Dylann Roof continue this month.

Charleston County officials say no public parking will be allowed in county garages — King/Queen and Cumberland garages — for the next two to three weeks.

No street closures are expected.

Live 5 Coverage Plans

The trial will be streamed on Live5news.com whenever cameras are allowed in the courtroom.

Real-time updates will be posted on our live blog.

Expect updates on air every day during our 5 a.m., 5:30 a.m., 6 a.m., 6:30 a.m., 12 p.m., 4 p.m., 5 p.m., 5:30 p.m., 6 p.m., 7 p.m., and 11 p.m. newscasts.

Make sure to follow our Live 5 News reporters Harve Jacobs, Karina BolsterAaron Maybin, Liza LucasAlexis Simmons, Kolbie Satterfield, Sydney Ryan and Carter Coyle, and anchors Bill SharpeDebi Chard, Raphael James, Ann McGill, Kyle Jordan, Lisa Weismann and Aisha Tyler on Twitter as they get updates.

The Federal Trial

Slager was also indicted on federal charges of violating civil rights laws, using a firearm in committing a crime of violence, and obstructing justice in the fatal shooting of an unarmed man.

He also faces a possible life sentence if convicted on those charges.

A judge ruled the federal trial will be held after January 1, 2017.

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