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PostPosted: Sat Sep 03, 2016 3:32 pm 
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Despite defense request, judge pushes Michael Slager’s federal trial to 2017
By Andrew Knapp | The Post and Courier | August 30, 2016


A judge Tuesday brushed off a bid by Michael Slager’s defense team to have the former North Charleston policeman stand trial this fall on a federal civil rights charge, opting instead to push the proceeding into next year.

Slager already is scheduled to be tried Oct. 31 in state court, where he is charged with murder in motorist Walter Scott’s shooting death.

But during a hearing Tuesday afternoon, an attorney for Slager asked U.S. District Judge David Norton to set the federal trial a few weeks sooner. A prosecutor, meanwhile, sought a delay.
[...]
Donald McCune, a defense attorney who spoke Tuesday for Slager, called the state and federal cases a “simultaneous prosecution” that has never been seen before. After the hearing, McCune added that federal authorities have done little investigation of their own into Scott’s shooting. Instead, he said, they have relied on state investigators’ findings.

By letting the state go first, the federal officials will get a glimpse at Slager’s defense. Seeking to stem that advantage, McCune sought an earlier trial date in federal court.

More at link: http://www.postandcourier.com/20160830/ ... al-to-2017


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PostPosted: Sat Sep 03, 2016 3:33 pm 
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Judge: North Charleston won’t have to turn over documents on settlement with Walter Scott’s family
By Brenda Rindge | The Post and Courier | September 1, 2016


North Charleston city officials won’t have to turn over documents related to settlement negotiations with Walter Scott’s family, Circuit Judge Clifton Newman ruled Thursday.

During a hearing in the case against former North Charleston police officer Michael Slager, Newman granted a motion to quash four of six items subpoenaed from the city by Slager’s defense team, led by attorney Andy Savage.

Newman agreed with the city’s objection to supplying documents showing whether Slager or anyone else is responsible for Scott’s death, any records that would exonerate Slager and any records that show a failure of institutional procedures that contributed to Scott’s death.

North Charleston had objected to the requests “because Mr. Slager asks to see inside the minds of the city’s lawyers,” according to court documents.

City Attorney Brady Hair and attorney Gedney Howe represented the city and argued that providing the documents would violate attorney-client privilege and the sanctity of the mediation process in civil court.

In October, after several months of negotiations between the city and Scott’s family, City Council unanimously approved a $6.5 million wrongful death settlement, one of the largest related to a police shooting that caught national attention.
[...]
During a second hearing Thursday, Newman, Slager’s defense team and prosecutors discussed when prospective jurors will be summoned for Slager’s Oct. 31 murder trial in state court.

Notices typically go out 15 to 35 days before a trial, but all parties agreed that they would like them to be sent earlier in this case.

More at link: http://www.postandcourier.com/20160901/ ... tts-family


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PostPosted: Mon Oct 31, 2016 8:31 pm 
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Jury selection started today. I will update more when the trial starts.

http://www.charlestoncitypaper.com/TheB ... ager-trial


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PostPosted: Fri Nov 04, 2016 5:45 pm 
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Trial replays available on YT... search for daily video in parts.

Michael Slager Trial Day 2 Part 1 11/04/16



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PostPosted: Sun Nov 06, 2016 7:35 pm 
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Testimony to resume Monday in Michael Slager trial
By Patrick Phillips | Live5News.com | November 6, 2016, 5:00PM CT


CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) - The trial of the former North Charleston police officer charged in the fatal shooting of a man who ran from a traffic stop resumes Monday morning with testimony continuing in the case.

The trial adjourned for the weekend Friday afternoon following testimony from the man who shot video of the incident and the first officer to respond after shots were fired.

Clarence Habersham, the former North Charleston Police officer who responded to the scene immediately after the shooting took the stand late Friday afternoon and testified about giving first aid to Scott. Habersham said police are not trained to fire a warning shot but to stop a threat.

He says he found Scott handcuffed on the ground when he arrived at the scene. Habersham says he was the one that un-cuffed Scott and administered CPR and first aid.

Prosecutors also played radio transmissions of the officers communicating during the incident: "Shots fired, subject is down, he grabbed my Taser." Prosecutors argue that Slager dropped the Taser next to Scott's body.

Habersham also said he never saw Slager drop or pick up anything.

Defense attorney Andy Savage says there should have been six patrolmen on duty the day of the incident but there weren’t.

Earlier on Friday, the jury watched a cellphone video of the shooting and heard from Feidin Santana, the man who recorded it. Santana said he was about 60 yards away from Slager and Scott when a struggle took place and he started to record the incident on his cellphone. Santana said despite the defense claim that Slager shot Scott in self-defense after Scott grabbed Slager's Taser during a struggle, he never saw Scott coming towards Slager with a Taser.

Santana said the men wrestled on the ground, and he could hear an electric sound that he later learned came from Slager's stun gun.
[...]
Slager faces 30 years to life if convicted of murder in the April 2015 shooting death of 50-year-old Scott as Scott fled a traffic stop in North Charleston.

More at link: http://www.live5news.com/story/33642217 ... ager-trial


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PostPosted: Mon Nov 07, 2016 12:56 am 
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Earlier on Friday, the jury watched a cellphone video of the shooting and heard from Feidin Santana, the man who recorded it. Santana said he was about 60 yards away from Slager and Scott when a struggle took place and he started to record the incident on his cellphone. Santana said despite the defense claim that Slager shot Scott in self-defense after Scott grabbed Slager's Taser during a struggle, he never saw Scott coming towards Slager with a Taser.

Santana said the men wrestled on the ground, and he could hear an electric sound that he later learned came from Slager's stun gun.


Sorry but if an officer is in hand to hand combat with a thug they have to consider it a life and death situation. Slager would be protecting or going for his gun. It is much more likely that Scott got the Taser (Slager had the prongs in his pants) than Slager decided in that situation to try and taser Scott.


Evidence by law must be seen in a light most friendly to the defendant. IMO so far if the jury is honest and follows the law Slager walks.

Slager was fighting for his life, Scott was fighting to stay out of jail, Scott picked a very stupid fight.

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PostPosted: Mon Nov 07, 2016 4:15 pm 
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Excellent points, Carm! :28

Thank goodness this is being recorded. I am going to try to catch up soon.
I know so little about this case and want to get info from the beginning.
Easy and a time-saver to fast-forward non-testimony on videos. ;)

Live trial coverage:

http://abcnews4.com/live/event

http://www.wltx.com/news/local/live-bre ... s/63426548


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PostPosted: Mon Nov 07, 2016 4:25 pm 
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Hi Molly :69 ! Thanks for all your work here and all the updates.

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PostPosted: Sun Nov 13, 2016 6:56 pm 
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SLED (South Carolina Law Enforcement Division)

Key events in Week 2 of the Michael Slager murder trial
By Andrew Knapp | The Post and Courier | November 13, 2016, 10:33AM


Image

THURSDAY
• SLED expert Samuel Stewart testified that Slager and Scott could not be excluded as the owners of DNA on the Taser. A "major contributor" could not be determined.

• While higher levels of Scott's DNA were seen on portions of the Taser sample, Stewart said they didn't reach the scientific threshold to make Scott the major contributor. Stewart said it could "not necessarily" be determined the Scott contributed more DNA than Slager.

• Tracy Thrower of SLED matched bullets found at the scene to Slager’s gun and testified that six rounds were left in the pistol. The defense contends that meant the shooting was “controlled” and that Slager fired only until the “threat” was over.

• SLED Lt. Charles Ghent testified on agents' one-hour, 40-minute interview with Slager. He wasn't allowed to read to jurors his memo of the interview, which wasn't recorded, as if it were Slager's statement.

• Slager told agents that Scott was "coming at" him before he fired as Scott turned, Ghent said. But Ghent said Slager didn't appear to be in danger in the video.

• The video also showed Slager later picking up his Taser, which had fallen, and dropping it near Scott's body. He picked it up again seconds later. "He said he grabbed it and holstered it because he ... didn't want to leave a weapon around," Ghent said.

Monday - Wednesday at link: http://www.postandcourier.com/news/key- ... ecfb0.html

Link to watch daily videos of trial. Opening Statements through Day 6.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t0-GE-7 ... MTx1wqzg6W


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PostPosted: Tue Nov 29, 2016 10:03 pm 
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Michael Slager testifies, recalls the shooting of Walter Scott
'I knew I was going to lose this fight'
Posted by Dustin Waters on Tue, Nov 29, 2016 at 4:37 PM

Image

Throughout the trial of Michael Slager, defense attorneys have asked the jury to consider the death of Walter Scott and the events that led to his shooting from the perspective of the former North Charleston officer. On Tuesday, after hearing from 17 witnesses for the defense, jurors were given the clearest image of what went through Slager’s mind on April 4, 2015, as he took the stand.

Since opening arguments, lead defense attorney Andy Savage has drawn comparisons between Slager and accused Emanuel AME Church shooter Dylann Roof in an apparent effort to highlight the severity of the murder charge leveled against Slager. As Slager took the stand Tuesday, Roof sat in a courthouse just across the street, opting to represent himself in the selection of the jury in the federal capital case. In his final question for his client, Savage would ask Slager to recount his emotional state in the months following Scott’s shooting when he was confined to a jail cell next door to Roof. Over the course of his testimony, it was clear that Savage hoped to humanize Slager while convincing the jury that he performed to the best of his ability during his time as an officer.

Beginning with his account of the day of the shooting, Slager described it as just a normal Saturday morning. The day before Easter, Slager had planned to take a few days for the holiday to spend time with his family. Stopping Scott’s Mercedes-Benz for a non-functioning third brake light, Slager was seated in his vehicle when, after an initial warning, Scott fled the scene. According to Slager, he assumed that Scott “must have been running for another reason.”

...More at link
http://www.charlestoncitypaper.com/TheB ... lter-scott

The Defense rests

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PostPosted: Tue Nov 29, 2016 10:42 pm 
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THANKS for the update, Rumpole. I tried to compose one all day and kept getting distracted. :roll
I did watch the very end of the video #5 to try to find out what is next. State may have one rebuttal witness.
They tried to have the charge conference tonight (it was 5:30) but State wasn't ready. State asked for morning session and have jurors come in at noon and do closings Thursday. The judge said "No, they will be here at 9:00." They are also arguing about each others videos of what happened to be used in closing arguments. Judge finally recessed for 30 minutes until 6:10pm.

Today's testimony (Day 15) is in six videos and can be found at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t0-GE-7 ... MTx1wqzg6W


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PostPosted: Thu Dec 01, 2016 9:00 am 
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JURY WATCH

For a second day, jurors deliberate Michael Slager case
By Andrew Knapp | The Post and Courier | December 1, 2016, 7:45AM


A jury will resume deliberations Thursday morning over two criminal charges against former North Charleston policeman Michael Slager.

The 12 jurors discussed the case Wednesday for an hour before opting to sleep on it for a night.

Slager, 35, faces conviction on one of two counts in Walter Scott's shooting death: murder or voluntary manslaughter.
[...]
To prove murder against Slager, prosecutors had to show that he acted with malice, or an evil intent, when he killed the 50-year-old Walter Scott on April 4, 2015. That Slager shot Scott in the back as Scott ran away was cited as crucial evidence of malice.

For manslaughter, the officer had to have been provoked into opening fire "in the heat of passion," or an emotion that bubbled to the surface during his confrontation with the Scott and drove him to pull the trigger.

But a self-defense argument could defeat both allegations unless prosecutors successfully proved that Slager's fear of any imminent danger wasn't reasonable in his circumstances.
[...]
The jury visited the site briefly on Wednesday before the heard closing arguments and started deliberations.

Any verdict — guilty or not — must be unanimous. The jurors would resort to the manslaughter charge if they could not agree on murder. A unanimous not-guilty vote on both charges would prompt Slager's acquittal.

More at link: http://www.postandcourier.com/news/for- ... f6076.html


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PostPosted: Fri Dec 02, 2016 3:40 pm 
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Jury has been deliberating about 12 hours total in last three days.

After lunch they sent out two notes.
1:00PM - wanting to hear audio of Santana who took the video of shooting and was talking as he filmed it.
1:15PM - they can not come to a consensus

Jury was sent back to determine if they still wanted to hear audio. They came back in and said "no, they are deadlocked".

Judge read Allen charge to jury and they went back to deliberate at 2:30PM.


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PostPosted: Fri Dec 02, 2016 3:51 pm 
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THX Molly

When Jury is so undecided as this.. I kinda think it PROVES reasonable doubt?

I guess it depends on the split? 50/50 or just one hold-out.

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PostPosted: Fri Dec 02, 2016 5:31 pm 
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The judge received three more notes.
One says (from foreman) "One juror can not say Michael Slater is guilty."

Yes, what you said Rumpole. One of the notes was from the juror (not foreman) saying "Would not be able to convict beyond a reasonable doubt."

4:25PM - Judge says it is NOT clear (from foreman) that the jury is still deadlocked. He sends clerk in with the jury to get clarification before declaring a mistrial. The court is now taking a break.


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PostPosted: Fri Dec 02, 2016 5:58 pm 
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brenda rindge@brindge (reporter for The Post and Courier)
Text of note from #slagertrial jury read by judge (typed by me).

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PostPosted: Fri Dec 02, 2016 6:02 pm 
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T.J. Holmes@tjholmes (Twitter)
https://twitter.com/tjholmes/with_replies

One juror tells the court: "I will not and can not change my mind." Will not vote to convict Slager. #SlagerTrial #WalterScott

Mic was still hot as judge was discussing next steps w/attorneys in a sidebar. Sounds like he's preparing to let them go. #SlagerTrial

According to the jurors' notes, 11/12 of them have agree to convict Michael Slager. One holdout has them headed for mistrial. #SlagerTrial

One tidbit: the 1 black juror is also the jury foreman. Foreman is the 1 who wrote notes saying one other juror is the holdout. #SlagerTrial

Again, jury note #3 written by foreman: "That juror needs to leave. He is having issues. Sorry for all the notes." #SlagerTrial #WalterScott

Defense is now formally requesting a mistrial. #SlagerTrial #WalterScott

One more note from jury: "YES, WE ARE AT A DEADLOCK. THE JUROR IS NOT MOVING." #SlagerTrial #walterscott

Judge: law states jury can not at this point be forced to go back and deliberate further. #SlagerTrial #WalterScott

Jury confirms "yes" when asked if they are hopelessly deadlocked. #SlagerTrial #WalterScott

Jury now says that they believe a further explanation of the law would help them reach a unanimous verdict. #SlagerTrial #WalterScott :doh

Jury has been send back out. Attorneys arguing to judge what they think should happen next. #SlagerTrial #WalterScott

Defense wants the mistrial. Prosecution wants judge to give jury a dictionary definition of the word "passion." #SlagerTrial #WalterScott

All sides seem a bit thrown off. Was foreman speaking for himself or the entire jury? #WalterScott #SlagerTrial

They said they're deadlocked but in next breath said they could use further instruction. Judge trying to figure out what to do. #SlagerTrial

The judge has now taken a recess to get a handle on what to do next. #SlagerTrial #WalterScott

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PostPosted: Fri Dec 02, 2016 6:07 pm 
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The judge read the law to the jurors that he can not send them back for a second time to deliberate unless the jurors feel they can come to an unanimous decision with further explanation of the law. The foreman answered they could reach a decision. (Contradicting previous notes.)

Judge sent the jury back. Defense wants a mistrial, State wants the judge to give dictionary definition of "fear" and "passion" (as the jury has requested).

The judge has called for another recess/break.


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PostPosted: Fri Dec 02, 2016 6:18 pm 
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Quote:
John Galt says:
December 2, 2016 at 5:08 pm

http://www.judicial.state.sc.us/opinion ... seNo=25332

“failing to instruct the jury to omit from its future communication any reference to the nature of its division”

Inquiry into the jury’s numerical division.

Petitioner’s jury informed the trial judge of their numerical split, as well as their alignment, on the first evening. Not only did the judge fail to inform the attorneys of the note’s contents, he failed to instruct the jurors not to disclose their division in the future. Cf. State v. Middleton, 218 S.C. 452, 63 S.E.2d 163 (1951) (improper for judge to require the jury to publicly reveal the nature or extent of their division).

While the trial judge did not engage in polling the jury as to its division, a practice condemned in Lowenfield, supra and in Brasfield v. United States, 272 U.S. 448 (1926), he did not act to prevent the jury’s self-reporting. In Brasfield, the Court held that “the inquiry into the jury’s numerical division necessitated reversal because it was generally coercive and always brought to bear ‘in some degree, serious although not measurable, an improper influence on the jury.'” Lowenfield, supra (internal citation omitted). The Lowenfield Court noted Brasfield was not a constitutional decision but rather a “supervisory powers”case. None-the-less, knowledge of the jury’s numerical division combined with knowledge of its decisional disagreement, followed by an Allen charge directed, at least in part, to minority jurors, is impermissibly coercive. Lowenfield, supra.

Petitioner and his attorneys were denied a meaningful opportunity to protect petitioner’s rights. The judge did not disclose the contents of the jury’s first note, which revealed a 10-2 deadlock in favor of the death penalty, but rather told the attorneys only that the jury wished to rehear some testimony. When the jury sent a note the next day, the judge did inform the attorneys that the jury was divided 11-1, but again did not reveal that the jury was in favor of death, nor that the foreman had used the term “hopelessly deadlocked,” nor that he had written “I do not feel we will ever get an unanimous verdict.”

We find the combination of withholding pertinent information from the parties, thereby depriving them of the facts necessary to make informed decisions; failing to instruct the jury to omit from its future communication any reference to the nature of its division; and giving an unconstitutionally coercive Allen charge, with its emphasis on a collective result, shocking to the universal sense of justice. We emphasize that it is the combination of factors, in the setting, which compel us to grant petitioner a writ of habeas corpus and to order a new sentencing proceeding.

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PostPosted: Fri Dec 02, 2016 6:29 pm 
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Quote:
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December 2, 2016 at 5:21 pm

I think they’re impermissibly coercing the holdout juror at this point. Holdout juror sends multiple notes stating will not convict. Jury forewoman and prosecution now attempting to coerce holdout.

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