Legal analyst: Michael Slager will receive substantial sentence after guilty plea

Legal analyst: Michael Slager will receive substantial sentence after guilty plea
Michael Slager's attorneys have filed the opening brief in his appeal case. (Source: Pool)

NORTH CHARLESTON (WCSC) - A legal analyst says Michael Slager is "definitely" going to receive a fairly substantial sentence following his guilty plea in federal court in the shooting death of Walter Scott.

"I'm not aware of any reason the judge would give him probation in this case. I think he is definitely going to receive a fairly substantial sentence," said Live 5 News Legal Analyst Robbie Robbins.

Former North Charleston police officer Michael Slager fatally shot Scott on April 4, 2015 after Scott fled a traffic stop.

As part of a plea agreement that guilty plea paves the way for additional federal and all state charges against him to be dropped.

"Moving forward the very next step is the presenting report to be conducted by United States probation officials," Live 5 News Legal Analyst Robbie Robbins said.

Both the defense and government will be able to review that report before it goes to Judge Norton, the federal judge who will be deciding Slager's sentence.

Once Judge Norton receives the report he will then take in all factors before making his decision.

"Judge Norton will review all of these facts and listen to the arguments from government and defense and decide where in that sentencing range does Michael Slager fall," Robbins said. "It's a very difficult decision that he has, but I'm confident he will make the right one."

The judge will then decide what sentence Michael Slager will serve, which could range from a minimal to maximum sentence.

"Technically the range is from probation all the way to life but I think that when you look at the reality of this case it will fall somewhere in-between," Robbins said. "I know there are members of the Scott family that will request life but I would not given the fact that he has entered a plea and accepted a responsibility for him to receive a life sentence."

The families for both parties involved are both faced with the task of having to move on now that Slager has taken the plea.

"For the Scott family I think they said it best. They're never going to have Walter back, so they have to be able to find closure now and move forward without him," Robbins said.

Any significant sentence is going to be difficult for the Slager family.

"For the Slager family they have to figure how to move forward without Michael," Robbins said.

Whatever sentence Michael Slager is served he will have to serve out the full sentence in federal prison.

That prison will be chosen based off of his past in law enforcement, and where they house him will also reflect his career background.

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