Past S.C. Officer Who Killed Walter Scott Sentenced To 20 Years In Prison
Enlarge this image toggle caption Grace Beahm/Pool/Getty Photos Grace Beahm/Pool/Getty Images
Michael Slager, the white former police officer who was 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 previous this season to a federal civil privileges violation, the judge ruled Thursday that he committed 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 informed the court Thursday after several times of testimony, according to the Charleston Post and Courier. “Slager’s activities had been disproportional to Scott’s misconduct.”
In a wrought courtroom picture, Scott’s mother, Judy, told Slager that she forgives him for her son’s killing. As South Carolina Public Radio’s Victoria Hansen information, Slager turned to her and silently mouthed “I’m sorry.”
“I know,” Scott replied.
In April 2015, Slager had stopped Walter Scott as a result of a broken brake light on his Mercedes-Benz. That which was supposed to be a routine traffic give up turned deadly. The 50-year-old man ran from his automobile and Slager gave chase. Both scuffled and Slager opened fire as Scott was running apart, hitting him five moments in the back.
The incident, which ended in Scott’s killing, was captured on cellphone video by a local onlooker. That video recording quickly went viral, drawing national focus on the case.
The North Charleston Police Division fired Slager after the footage surfaced publicly.
Slager’s route through the courts offers been convoluted. A state murder trial ended in a hung jury in December. Talk about prosecutors were establish to retry him previous this year, but as part of a plea arrangement, Slager pleaded guilty to a federal civil privileges violation for using extreme force and South Carolina agreed to drop the murder fee.
The Post and Courier explains how Norton treated that guilty plea in his sentencing on Thursday:
“Norton had two options for the underlying criminal offense that could affect Slager’s penalty: voluntary manslaughter or second-degree murder. Prosecutors have reinforced the murder getting, which would expose Slager to up to life in prison. But protection attorneys explained 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.