Judge sets start date for Michael Slager federal trial

CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) - A federal judge has set the pretrial motions and jury selection dates for the trial of the former North Charleston policeman accused in a motorist's death.

Michael Slager, 35, is charged in U.S. District Court with violating Walter Scott's rights under the color of law, lying to investigators and using a firearm in a violent crime. He would face up to life in prison if convicted on the civil rights count.

U.S. District Judge David Norton issued an order Tuesday stating all pretrial motions will be heard on or after March 1. Jury selection will be held on or after May 1, and the trial will begin immediately after the installation of the jury panel, the order states.

Norton also gave attorneys a deadline of Jan. 17 to submit their proposed juror questionnaire. He also set a deadline of Feb. 3 for all motions to be filed and a deadline of Feb. 17 for all responses to motions to be filed.

Slager shot Scott on April 4, 2015, after Scott fled a traffic stop. Slager has maintained the two wound up in a scuffle during which Scott grabbed Slager's Taser, forcing Slager to use deadly force.

Slager's state trial on a charge of murder ended earlier this month with a hung jury after the panel could not unanimously agree on whether the former policeman should be convicted of murder or a lesser manslaughter charge.

State prosecutors said they will retry Slager, but have not set a date.

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