Michael Slager On Trial for Killing Walter Scott – Trial Continues Part 2

2015-04-08t23-05-56-033z-1280x720-nbcnews-ux-1080-600The 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.

Posted on 11/21/2016, in Cases, Cops Gone Wild, Trial Videos and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink. 32 Comments.

  1. yahtzeebutterfly

    Xena,

    Thank you for all of the time you put into your post. I appreciate being kept up to date on the trial.

    “The bystander who filmed the killing, Feidin Santana…continued correcting the defense that he saw no fight.”

    Santana has shown courage and determination to get the truth of what he witnessed out to the jury.

    “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.”

    Needing to lie is an indication that Slager knows he guilty of a unjustified and heinous deed.

    “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.”

    Another truth teller. No one is allowing Slager to get away with his lie.

    “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.”

    To me that actually proves that Slager gave up running after Walter, but because Slager wanted “to catch” Walter, he lazily and coldheartedly shot Walter fatally in the back as Walter was running away from Slager.

    Liked by 3 people

    • Yahtzee,
      Re:

      “To me that actually proves that Slager gave up running after Walter, but because Slager wanted “to catch” Walter, he lazily and coldheartedly shot Walter fatally in the back as Walter was running away from Slager.”

      It can show malice, but let’s remember that it’s Slager’s defense who put on that witness. It is my perception that the defense wants to use that to say that Slager was justified to shoot Walter. The prosecution is going on the point that nothing justifies shooting a fleeing, unarmed suspect, and particularly, in the back.

      Liked by 3 people

  2. Dear Xena,

    You have done an outstanding job in covering all aspects of this case and I love this. By the end of this trial, I will know what my verdict should be based on the same info that a jurist in the courtroom has.

    But it will take me time to listen to everything before I’d feel comfortable to comment further.

    Hugs, Gronda

    Liked by 2 people

    • Gronda,
      Thanks. This is a long trial. That court does not hold trial on Fridays which makes the proceeding even longer. Unlike some trials that are live streamed where we get to see up close what the jury sees in terms of videos and slide presentations, the cameras in this trial do not bring those up close.

      Liked by 3 people

  3. Defense witness examined clothing for taser burns.

    Like

  4. November 21, 2016 – Part 1

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  5. November 21, 2016 – Part 2

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  6. November 21, 2016 – Part 3

    The defense questions expert about electricity through tasers and how it makes holes. The state’s cross-examination asks about the taser not having a cartridge, which caused the defense witness to deflect into “psychological” shock rather than physical shock. There’s lots of technical stuff including whether a taser can burn a hole in clothing and the skin because of heat without there being an electrical surge.

    Like

  7. Trial on Monday focused on the taser. Slager’s defense team argued that his taser was used against him by Walter Scott. There was examination of Slager’s shirt with no firm finding that the microscopic tears were caused by the taser.

    Slager said that Walter tried to take the taser, and he was afraid that Walter would use it and try to take his gun. Slager’s defense team now argues that Walter DID use the taser on Slager.

    The problem for the defense, so it seems, is that Slager was not disabled by the taser purportedly being used against him, and that Walter Scott was running away when Slager shot him in the back, which might be seen by the jury as an act of vengeance rather than an act to save his life.

    Also in part 4 is argument over a defense witness regarding Walter’s unpaid child support. The argument included what theory the defense was trying to allege or support. The state argued that the witness was only there to smear Walter Scott. The judge cautioned the defense that the witness could not testify of what a judge would do.

    November 21, 2016 – Part 4

    Liked by 1 person

    • Then why in the hell would the judge, allow this testimony in? It has nothing to do we the issues in the case. Whether he paid child support or not, is of no consequence.

      Liked by 2 people

      • Hey supabutterfly!. The judge limited most of that testimony. The defense is trying to build a theory as to why Walter ran. They tried again yesterday, but the judge said it’s speculation and the victim is deceased and cannot testify.

        Like

  8. Dear Xena,

    Forgive me because this is off subject.

    I just blogged on this.Here is the link to sign a petition to demand a vote audit: Petition · Demand An Audit Of The 2016 Presidential Election …
    https://www.change.org/p/demand-an-audit-of-the-2016-presidential-election

    Hugs, Gronda

    Liked by 2 people

  9. Like

  10. November 22, 2016 – Part 1

    In the first video is defense witness who testified about paint found in the cracks of Walter Scott’s cell phone, and that it matched paint found on the taser. In his opinion, the paint found on both the cell phone and taser came from the “yellow brick road.” The state did not cross-exam.

    Thomas Owens was the second witness for the defense. Without the jury present, he was questioned to determine if he could testify as an expert witness. Owens is a forensic pathologist and medical examiner from North Carolina. He was questioned if Walter Scott suffered injuries showing that a struggle took place. He testified that Walter had abrasions on his thumb. The defense wanted Owens to testify of Walter’s toxicology and the state objected on the basis that the toxicology has nothing to do with the cause of death.

    The defense is trying to build a theory as to what caused Walter Scott to run. The judge admitted Owens as an expert witness but limited his testimony so there is no speculation presented to the jury for Walter’s behavior.

    Like

  11. November 22, 2016 – Part 2

    Defense witness Sgt. Ronald Webb gave Slager a performance appraisal. He was also questioned about training.

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  12. November 22, 2016 – Part 3

    Webb’s testimony continues. The next witness for the defense was Eddie Driggers, N. Charleston Police Chief. The questioning included distribution of resources.

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  13. November 22, 2016 – Part 4

    Driggers’ testimony continues. He is questioned about policies regarding the use of a taser. The judge cautioned the defense to not lead the witness.

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  14. November 22, 2016 – Part 5

    Driggers’ testimony continues and he is cross-examined. Defense called Dr. Porcher, PhD who is a criminal justice professor. He was to testify about use of force and investigations into Slager’s prior use of force. He reviewed 14 incidents involving Slager’s use of the taser. Cross examination was somewhat brutal.

    Liked by 2 people

    • the expert witness was very articulate but i have no idea why he testified? he did not investigation, he only agreed with the conclusions already made, no need for him at all……also his claim about the second person was bizarre to me…..a second person sitting inside the car is somehow a “threat” to him after he is over 200 years away from that car?????…the policy was clear you do not even use the taser under the circumstance on video.

      Like

  15. November 23, 2016

    Today, the defense presented a crime-scene imaging expert. He presented a 3-D imaging of Slager’s point of view. There was discussion about the jury possibly visiting the crime-scene next week. Court recessed until Monday and it’s expected that the defense will rest on Wednesday.

    Part 1

    Part 2

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  16. We’re now at day 14 of trial. The first witness for the defense was Officer Jason Dandridge. He testified about policies and procedures for using the taser and when it’s okay to shoot at a fleeing suspect. Part 2 includes cross-examination and Dandridge was asked for situations to justify doing that. He testified that their training is to stop the threat. He also testified that the department could give officers more training.

    November 28, 2016 – Part 1

    November 28, 2016 – Part 2

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  17. November 28, 2016 – Part 3

    November 28, 2016 – Part 4

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  18. November 28, 2016 – Part 5

    The defense continues to question witnesses who have been instructors.

    November 28, 2016 – Part 6

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  19. The parties were instructed to start developing jury instructions. Defense attorney Andy Savage told the court he plans to call Slager to the stand Tuesday. It is expected that Slager will be the last witness for the defense.

    Liked by 1 person

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