Hearings scheduled for former officer charged in motorist's death

CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) - The former North Charleston police officer charged in the shooting death of a motorist will head to court next week for hearings in the federal and state cases against him.

Michael Slager, 35, is charged in the April 4, 2015, shooting of Walter Scott, who fled a traffic stop. Slager was charged with murder in Scott's shooting death in state court and faces a charge of violating Scott's civil rights in federal court.

Slager says he and Scott wound up in a scuffle after Scott fled during which Scott grabbed the officer's stun gun, forcing Slager to fire.

A judge will hear motions filed for the state's retrial of Slager on Tuesday at noon. Slager's first state trial ended in a mistrial in early December.

On Wednesday, Slager's state defense team filed a motion asking for information about any promises or assurances made to the man who recorded the incident on a cell phone.

Feidin Santana said he was passing by the scene of the incident on his way to work and began recording what he saw with his cell phone. The video of the actual shooting was made public a few days later, leading to a murder charge against Slager.

Slager's state defense team filed a motion Wednesday asking for "any and all consideration or promises of consideration, including unwritten or 'we will do our best' agreements, given to or on behalf of [Santana], or expected or hoped for" by him.

The motion stated:

"By 'consideration,' Slager refers to anything, whether bargained for or not, that could be of value or use to Mr. Santana or to persons of concern to Mr. Santana, including but not limited to: immigration assistance, criminal immunity, assistance or favorable treatment or recommendations with respect to any criminal or other legal dispute with the state or federal government, payments of money or reimbursement of expenses, provisions of food, clothing, shelter, transportation, or other like benefits when an appearance was required to be questioned by law enforcement, prosecutors, or to testify before a Grand Jury or any legal proceeding; or other accommodation which could arguably reveal a motive or bias by the witness in favor of the State or act as an inducement to testify or to compromise their testimony."

A federal judge scheduled a pretrial conference for March 17 at 9 a.m.

The federal trial against Slager is set to begin on May 1 with jury selection, while Slager's state retrial is scheduled to begin in August.

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