Solicitor files motion to reschedule Slager trial

Published: Apr. 27, 2016 at 8:45 PM EDT|Updated: Apr. 27, 2016 at 10:09 PM EDT
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Ninth Circuit Solicitor Scarlett Wilson (Source: Live 5)
Ninth Circuit Solicitor Scarlett Wilson (Source: Live 5)(Live 5/File)

CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) - Prosecutors filed a motion Wednesday to reschedule the trial of a former North Charleston Police Officer facing a murder charge in the shooting death of a motorist in April, 2015.

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

In a motion filed Wednesday, Ninth Circuit Solicitor Scarlett Wilson  moved for an order of the court rescheduling the current trial date, which is set for Oct. 31 and requested a status conference.

The motion comes amid concerns work on the Slager trial may overlap with work on the trial of Dylann Roof, who is facing multiple charges in the shooting deaths of nine people at Mother Emanuel AME Church in June, 2015.

A South Carolina State Supreme Court ruling excused Wilson and Chief Deputy Solicitor Bruce DuRant from appearing in other trials while they are prosecuting the Roof trial.

Slager was arrested on April 7, 2015 and charged with murder and was indicted on June 8.

Ten days later, Dylann Roof was charged with the murders of nine people at the church and was indicted by a grand jury for these murders and additional counts of attempted murder on July 7.

A judge set the date for Roof's state trial for Jan. 17, 2017. Jury selection is scheduled to begin on Dec. 5, 2016.

The filing reads in part:

"Both the case at bar and the State v. Roof matter are complex cases which require the involvement of the elected Solicitor and her Chief Deputy. The Chief Justice of the South Carolina Supreme Court prioritized the trial of State vs. Roof. Despite the high Court's Order of Protection, both Solicitor Wilson and Chief Deputy DuRant have voluntarily waived their protection and have appeared at several hearings in the case at bar in order to facilitate the administration of justice for the victim's family and for Defendant Slager. Due to the complexity of these cases and the limited resources of the Ninth Circuit Solicitor's Office, however, Solicitor Wilson and her Chief Deputy do not intend to waive their protection for the October 31 trial and cannot begin trying this case on that date."

The state is proposing either an August 2016 or May 2017 trial date.

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