Slager files motion to appoint Public Defender's Office to represent him

CHARLESTON COUNTY, SC (WCSC) - On Friday, a motion was filed by Michael Slager for an order to appoint the Public Defender's Office to represent him on his pending General Sessions charges in Charleston County, according to court documents.

On February 9, Slager went to the Public Defender's Office and requested to be screened for the appointment of an attorney for his state trial, documents say.

The official court documents state that Slager's financial declaration was noted. Slager's financial income and his reliance on donations to cover the living expenses of his family were also noted.

Court documents state that Slager meets SC Rule 602 guidelines because he is unable realistically to employ counsel, due to finances.

SC Rule 602(b) says: "Upon examination of a completed Affidavit of Indigency (Form II), the officer designated to make a determination of indigency shall determine if the accused is indigent. If that officer is unable to make this determination, the final determination whether the accused is indigent shall be made by a judge of the court in which the matter is to be heard. For purposes of this rule, a person is indigent if that person is financially unable to employ counsel. In making a determination whether a person is indigent, all factors concerning the person's financial condition should be considered including income, debts, assets and family situation. A presumption that the person is indigent shall be created if the person's net family income is less than or equal to the Poverty Guidelines established and revised annually by the United States Department of Health and Human Services and published in the Federal Register. Net income shall mean gross income minus deductions required by law."

Under SC Rule 602, the final decision on indigency determination in those cases where the determination is uncertain falls to the Court.

At this time, it is unknown if Andy Savage will still represent Slager. We reached out to the office of Andy Savage, according to his office he is out of town and not available for comment.

Slager is unable to employ counsel due to supporting a family of five, that includes three minors.

Slager's present income falls below the federal poverty guidelines. He has only been able to provide for his family from donations received by his family, documents say.

Slager and his wife were unemployed until recently, according to court documents.

Slager is being charged with murder in the April 4, 2015, shooting death of Walter Scott after a traffic stop.

This is a developing story. Check back for details.

Copyright 2017 WCSC. All rights reserved.