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Jury Deliberations to Resume Today in the Murder Trial of Walter Scott

By Frederick H. Lowe

Jury deliberations are scheduled to resume today (Monday) in the state murder trial of Michael Slager, a former North Charleston, S.C., cop, in the shooting death of Walter Scott, after one juror said he could not vote to convict Slager.

Walter Scott
Walter Scott

Eleven of 12 jurors have voted to convict Slager, 35, of either manslaughter or murder in the death of Scott, a 50 year-old Coast Guard veteran.

But one juror, believed to be a white male, said he can’t do it.

“I still cannot, without a reasonable doubt, convict the defendant. At the same time, my heart does not want to have to tell the Scott family that the man who killed their son, brother, and father is innocent. But with the choices, I cannot and will not change my mind,” the juror wrote in a note to Circuit Court Judge Clifton Newman.

Jury deliberations began Wednesday in a Charleston, S.C., courtroom.  Slager’s defense team on Friday asked Judge Newman to declare a mistrial, but the judge ordered the jury to continue deliberating.

Scott was running away when Slager stood, took aim and shot him five times in the back from 17-feet away, killing him. Scott was unarmed.

Scott’s murder, which occurred on April 4, 2015, following a minor traffic stop, was captured on a cell phone video.

The video showed that Slager lied about the circumstances surrounding the shooting. He claimed Scott attacked him. He said he killed Scott because he “feared for his life.”

Michael Slager in his prison garb
Michael Slager in prison garb

The video also showed Slager dropping an object, believed to be a Taser, next to Scott’s lifeless body. Slager handcuffed Scott although he was already dead.

Slager also faces federal charges.

A federal grand jury charged that Slager used excessive force when he shot and killed Scott without legal justification.

Slager also is charged with obstruction of justice for making false statements to South Carolina Law Enforcement Division investigators with intent to impede the investigation into the shooting.

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