Former S.C. Officer Who Killed Walter Scott Sentenced To 20 Years In Prison
Enlarge this graphic toggle caption Grace Beahm/Pool/Getty Pictures Grace Beahm/Pool/Getty Images
Michael Slager, the white former police officer who was simply filmed killing an unarmed black man found in North Charleston, S.C., has got been sentenced to 20 years in prison. In sentencing Slager, who pleaded guilty earlier this year to a federal government civil privileges violation, the judge ruled Thursday that he dedicated second-degree murder and obstruction of justice.
Slager, 36, “acted out of malice and and forethought, shooting dead an unarmed and fleeing Walter Scott,” U.S. District Judge David Norton told the court Thursday after several times of testimony, in line with the Charleston Content and Courier. “Slager’s activities were disproportional to Scott’s misconduct.”
In a wrought courtroom scene, Scott’s mom, Judy, told Slager that she forgives him for her son’s killing. As SC Consumer Radio’s Victoria Hansen studies, Slager considered her and silently mouthed “I am sorry.”
“I understand,” Scott replied.
In April 2015, Slager had pulled over Walter Scott as a result of a broken brake mild on his Mercedes-Benz. What was said to be a routine traffic give up turned deadly. The 50-year-old man ran from his motor vehicle and Slager gave chase. The two scuffled and Slager opened fire as Scott was operating apart, hitting him five occasions in the back.
The incident, which ended in Scott’s killing, was captured on cellphone video by a close by onlooker. That training video quickly went viral, drawing national focus on the case.
The North Charleston Police Section fired Slager following the footage surfaced publicly.
Slager’s route through the courts has been convoluted. Circumstances murder trial ended in a hung jury in December. Point out prosecutors were established to retry him earlier this year, but within a plea arrangement, Slager pleaded guilty to a federal government civil privileges violation for using increased force and SC agreed to drop the murder demand.
The Content and Courier explains how Norton treated that guilty plea in his sentencing on Thursday:
“Norton had two alternatives for the underlying offense that could affect Slager’s penalty: voluntary manslaughter or second-degree murder. Prosecutors have reinforced the murder finding, which would expose Slager to up to life in prison. But security attorneys stated Slager was provoked into firing, making his activities voluntary manslaughter.”
Slager had claimed that Scott had wrested his stun gun from him, and that he fired his gun found in self-defense. But Norton did not buy that defense.