CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) - The prosecutor in the state case against a former North Charleston police officer facing a murder charge in the shooting of a motorist says she will be ready for trial whenever the court calls.
The state re-trial of Michael Slager is set for March 1. Slager is charged in the April 4, 2015 death of Walter Scott, who fled a traffic stop.
Earlier this month, a judge declared a mistrial in the former North Charleston police officer's first state trial after the jury could not reach a unanimous decision. The jury heard from 55 witnesses over a five week period and deliberated for a record of more than 24 hours over four days.
Solicitor Scarlett Wilson issued the following statement Friday:
As I've said consistently, we will be ready for trial whenever the court calls. Certainly, after meeting with several jurors we are reinvigorated and ready to move forward. The Scott family is anxious for justice, as are we. That said, the elements to the federal charges in the Slager case are a bit simpler than the state charges so I was pleased that the feds eventually indicted. I had hoped they would be able to bring a speedier trial but scheduling can get complicated. Judge Norton has been quite sensible and considerate and I am appreciative of all his efforts.
Slager also faces federal charges of violating Scott's rights under the color of law, lying to investigators and using a firearm in a violent crime. The federal trial will is scheduled to begin on May 1. He would face up to life in prison if convicted on the civil rights count.
Slager has maintained he and Scott wound up in a scuffle during which Scott grabbed Slager's Taser, forcing Slager to use deadly force.