Judge rules prosecution's final witness in Slager trial can testify

CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) - A judge listened to the final witness against the former North Charleston police officer charged in the shooting death of a motorist and determined he is qualified to testify.

Michael Slager, 35, is on trial for murder in the April 4, 2015, death of 50-year-old Walter Scott who fled a traffic stop.

With the jury out of the courtroom for hours Tuesday, attorneys argued over whether crime scene investigator Bill Williams of Georgetown should be allowed to testify. The defense argued Williams, who is largely self-taught, doesn't have the qualifications to testify as an expert.

Judge Clifton Newman ruled Williams can testify about crime scene re-creation and analysis, but not about Slager's Taser.

Williams said he took measurements of the crime scene and said Walter Scott was approximately 17 feet from Slager when the first shot was fired.

Williams created an animation of the shooting using cellphone video, dashcam video and police radio calls. He also made a timeline of the entire incident, including the chase before Scott was shot.

Williams criticized State Law Enforcement Division investigators for their work at the crime scene. When asked if SLED data presented in the courtroom was incorrect, Williams responded, "Based on my investigation and my work there is an offset there."

Cellphone video recorded by a bystander shows Scott being shot in the back from yards away as he fled after an April 2015 traffic stop. The defense contends the two men wrestled and Scott got hold of Slager's stun gun before the shooting.

The prosecution hired Williams to enhance the cell phone video.

Williams will testify Wednesday, this time with the jury present.

Earlier, the court heard from a state witness who provided photo enlargements of "key moments" in the Walter Scott shooting video.

Defense attorney Andy Savage accused video analyst Anthony Imel of choosing which still images of the fight between Slager and Scott he wanted the jury to see. When questioned by defense attorney Andy Savage, Imel admitted that several of the injuries to Slager from the fight were not captured on the video.

Copyright 2016 WCSC. The Associated Press contributed to this report. All rights reserved.