Expert: Don't expect Michael Slager re-trial anytime soon

Updated: Dec. 6, 2016 at 6:16 PM EST
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CHARLESTON COUNTY, SC (WCSC) - It's back to square one for the state's case against former North Charleston police officer Michael Slager as many await the timetable for a re-trial.

On Monday, 12 jurors confirmed to Judge Clifton Newman that they'd be unable to reach  a unanimous decision in the case of The State v. Michael Slager.

"It is quite a process to put a trial of this magnitude together," local attorney Robert Robbins said.

Robbins has been practicing law for almost thirty years.

While he's currently a defense lawyer, he prosecuted several capital cases while working in the Solicitor's office in Summerville.

"Most murder cases that we try in state court don't last a week,"Robbins said.

In contrast, the Michael Slager murder trial lasted five weeks.

In a statement from the state solicitor's office, Solicitor Scarlett Wilson confirmed she "will try Michael Slager again."

According to Robbins, that means 55 witnesses will need to be rescheduled for a future trial date.

The attorney said other factors also come into play for the re-trial to take place, such as Slager's federal trial.

"That trial includes charges that are totally different, in a totally different jurisdiction, with a different judge that still have to be tried for the first time," Robbins said.

In addition, the former deputy solicitor said Dylann Roof's trials overlap the Slager case and involve many of the "major players," including attorney Andy Savage and State Solicitor Scarlett Wilson.

"Attorney Savage represents the victims, some of the victims in the Roof case and he's the lead defense in the Slager case," Robbins said.

Given such conflicts and scheduling matters, Robbins estimated that the state won't be able to reschedule re-trial anytime soon, adding it could be next summer until the case is back on the court's calendar and ready to be presented to a new jury.

"You've got twelve different people," Robbins said. "It aint going to be the same jurors so you've got twelve different perspectives on the second go round and maybe they'll be able to come to a consensus....and that's the beauty of the system."
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