Michael Slager On Trial for Killing Walter Scott – Trial Continues Part 2
The murder trial of ex-cop Michael Slager began on November 3rd, and you can find the videos of the trial at the following link up to Thursday, November 10th. There was no trial on Veteran’s Day.
Post and Courier reports that the trial has been contentious. Judge Clifton Newman has cautioned defense attorneys to not testify themselves, but the defense continues using that tactic.
During trial, you hear “SLED” allot. That is the acronym for South Carolina Law Enforcement Division.
Here are some highlights of the trial;
- The bystander who filmed the killing, Feidin Santana, has testified. He stood strong against the defense trying to get him to agree that there was a “fight,” and Santana continued correcting the defense that he saw no fight.
- Slager’s former colleagues have testified that he told them that Walter Scott managed to wrestle his taser away from him and pointed it at him, prompting him to fire his service weapon.
- On Tuesday, Almon Brown, a state crime scene investigator, testified that he was concerned when he examined Scott’s body because what he saw didn’t match what he had been told about how Scott died.
- Levi Miles, a private investigator for Michael Slager’s former defense lawyer, testified that Slager showed him during a re-enactment that Walter Scott was coming toward the officer before the gunfire. When he compared that with what he saw in a video of the shooting, Miles said, “That part of it seemed to be a lot different.”
- Bill Williams re-created the incident using various computer techniques, photography and animation. Williams was a witness for the state. He testified that he lacks formal education in the field but has been doing such work since 2003 in civil lawsuits, consisting mainly of car accidents.
- For the judge to qualify or disqualify Williams as an expert witness, Williams testified more than four hours without the jury present. Judge Clifton Newman deemed him an expert in computer technology, animation and crime-scene analysis, but not in Taser use.
- Williams testified that Scott was 17 feet away from Slager when the officer fired the first shot, and the seventh shot came at 34 feet, 9 inches. He did not estimate the final shot’s distance. Santana was more than 131 feet from Slager.
- The defense has taken the position that Slager and Scott had a physical altercation “to the extent that they were both fighting on the ground.” On Thursday, Samuel Stewart of the South Carolina Law Enforcement Division, who is a DNA expert, gave testimony that cast doubt on that story because none of Slager’s DNA was found under Walter’s fingernails.
- A drug-detecting police dog sniffed the car Scott was driving that day but found nothing. However, the defense has pried into prosecution witnesses’ testimony about their search, implying that something was missed.
- Before the video was released, and because of Slager’s story for why he shot Walter Scott, the prosecution says it prevented investigators from following more meticulous collection of DNA found on Slager’s taser. The defense however, wants to paint the investigators in bad light for not determining the exact locations on the taser where Slager’s and Scott’s DNA was found.
- The last witness for the state was SLED agent James Tallon. He used a special scanner to measure the crime scene. Williams had testified that those measurements were slightly off, while also saying, “Inches don’t make a difference, in my opinion.”
- After 32 witnesses and 9 days, on Wednesday, November17th, the state rested its case.
- After the state rested, Slager’s defense attorney Andy Savage asked Circuit Judge Clifton Newman to dismiss the case. Savage argued that the prosecution had not shown there was malice on Slager’s part, as required by South Carolina law. Judge Newman ruled that the state proved without a reasonable doubt that Slager killed Walter Scott with malice, and the jury could infer malice from the fact that a deadly weapon was used and that Scott was shot in the back. He denied the defense’s motion to dismiss.
- The defense called its first witness, former Houston police officer David Hallimore. Hallimore tried to isolate Slager’s and Scott’s voices in video recordings to discern what they said during a struggle.
- Defense witness Ely Driggers showed jurors equipment similar to the 25 pounds of gear Slager would have been wearing. The purpose was to support the defense’s argument that Slager ran 600 feet and was exhausted when he shot Walter Scott.
- Grant Fredericks testified for the defense as a forensic expert. He testified that Slager was busy pulling his pistol with one hand, and holding onto Scott with the other hand when the officer’s taser bounced on the ground behind him. Fredericks also testified that the taser wires were wrapped around both men, connecting them, when Walter Scott turned and started running away.
- There is one Black juror, a man. He said during voir dire that he knew nothing about the case or the video of Walter Scott’s shooting. The judge chose that juror to be foreman of the jury.
The below videos pick up with trial on November 15th through November 17th.
Trial videos for the remainder of trial will be posted in the comment section.
November 15, 2016 – Part 1
November 15, 2016 – Part 2
November 15, 2016 – Part 3
November 15, 2016 – Part 4
Cross examination of Prosecution witness Bill Williams to qualify or disqualify as expert
November 15, 2016 – Part 5
Cross examination continued
November 15, 2015 – Part 6
November 15, 2015 – Part 7
Judge enters decision to admit prosecution witness as expert
November 16, 2016 – Part 1
November 16, 2016 – Part 2
Expert witness begins presentation on animated computerized version of incident
November 16, 2016 – Part 3
Expert witness continues presentation
November 16, 2016 – Part 4
Completion of expert witness testimony. Cross examination by defense
November 16, 2016 – Part 5
November 16, 2016 – Part 6
Defense starts its case
November 17, 2016 – Part 1
Defense testimony of police gear
November 17, 2016 – Part 2
November 17, 2016 – Part 3
November 17, 2016 – Part 4
Trial will recess around noon this coming Wednesday and will reconvene the Monday after Thanksgiving.