CHARLESTON COUNTY, SC (WCSC) - The Ninth Judicial Circuit Solicitor's Office announced Monday a Charleston County grand jury has indicted Michael Slager on murder in the shooting death of Walter Scott.
Solicitor Scarlett Wilson made the announcement during an 11 a.m. news conference at the Charleston County Solicitor's Office. Wilson said the grand jury returned the murder indictment against Slager Monday morning.
Murder was the only charge presented to the grand jury to consider for an indictment, Wilson said. The charge carries a sentence of 30 years to life in prison without parole.
A trial date has not yet been set.
Despite outside pressure to remove Wilson from the case, the solicitor said she will not be stepping aside from what will be her first murder case against an officer, and is confident Slager will get a fair trial in Charleston County.
Attorneys and the family of Scott spoke after the news conference, saying the indictment is only the first step. Attorney Chris Stewart said a civil suit will be filed in the next few months.
Scott's brother, Rodney, said the family is happy with the murder indictment.
Video captures North Charleston cop shooting Scott in the back
Authorities say Scott was shot and killed by Slager on April 4 after fleeing from his vehicle during a traffic stop that took place on Remount Road in North Charleston.
At the time of the shooting, Slager, 33, was a Patrolman First Class with the North Charleston Police Department.
Reports state Slager claimed he shot Scott because he feared for his life following a physical altercation with the 50-year-old man, who was reportedly unarmed.
Video shot by a bystander surfaced in the days following Scott's death. The cell phone video showed Slager shooting Scott in the back as he ran from the officer.
Officials say the video evidence led to Slager's arrest and murder charge. He was initially placed on administrative leave while the South Carolina Law Enforcement Division investigated the shooting.
Slager, who was fired from the department following his arrest, is being held in protective custody at the Charleston County Detention Center.