Ex-South Carolina Police Officer To Plead Guilty In Fatal Shooting Of Walter Scott

FILE - In this Monday, Dec. 5, 2016, file photo, Defense attorneys Andy Savage, left, Don McCune, and Miller Shealy, right, sit around former North Charleston police officer Michael Slager at theCharleston County cou... FILE - In this Monday, Dec. 5, 2016, file photo, Defense attorneys Andy Savage, left, Don McCune, and Miller Shealy, right, sit around former North Charleston police officer Michael Slager at theCharleston County court in Charleston, S.C. Slager is pleading guilty to violating the civil rights of an unarmed black motorist he shot and killed during a 2015 traffic stop. A copy of the plea agreement obtained by The Associated Press Tuesday, May 2, 2017, also shows state prosecutors are dropping a pending murder charge in the death of Walter Scott. (Grace Beahm/The Post And Courier via AP, Pool, File) MORE LESS
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May 2, 2017 10:24 am
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COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) — A former South Carolina police officer is pleading guilty to violating the civil rights of an unarmed black motorist he shot and killed as the man ran from a 2015 traffic stop, according to a copy of the plea agreement obtained by The Associated Press.

The 13-page document also notes that as part of the deal, state prosecutors are dropping a pending murder charge against Michael Slager, effectively bringing to a close both parallel cases against the former North Charleston police officer.

Slager, 35, had been scheduled to appear in federal court Tuesday for motions ahead of his federal trial planned for later this month in the April 2015 death of Walter Scott.

A bystander captured Scott’s shooting on cellphone video, which was viewed millions of times. The 50-year-old motorist was running from Slager following a traffic stop when the two men struggled over Slager’s Taser before the officer shot at Scott eight times, hitting him with five bullets in the back.

Despite failing to secure a conviction against Slager last year when his murder trial ended in a hung jury, state prosecutors had been planning to retry him later this year. The deal, which also drops the two remaining federal charges against Slager, drops his pending murder charge.

Slager could face a possible life sentence when he’s sentenced by a federal judge. That hearing will likely come after federal officials spend several weeks preparing a presentencing report.

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Kinnard can be reached at http://twitter.com/MegKinnardAP . Read more of her work at https://apnews.com/search/meg%20kinnard .

Copyright 2017 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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