Judge Declares Mistrial In Walter Scott Police Shooting Case
A judge declared a mistrial this Monday afternoon in the fatal shooting of Walter Scott, at the hands of former police officer Michael Slager.
In a report from NBC News, Circuit Judge Clifton Newman read a statement from the jury which said, “We as the jury regret to inform the court” that they were unable to come “to a unanimous decision in the case of the state versus Michael Slager,” after a day of questions and deliberation.
“The court therefore must declare a mistrial in this case and I so declare that this case is mistried,” Newman said after the jury returned to the room and confirmed their decision.
The trial lasted for five weeks, in which a jury of 12 people deliberated over whether to convict Slager, the former North Charleston police officer that pulled over Scott during a traffic stop, and ultimately shot him five times in the back as he tried to run away.
Since Friday of last week the jury had stated that they could not reach a verdict, with one of the 12 jurors holding out and refusing to convict Slager.
“If you do not agree on a verdict, I must declare a mistrial,” Newman had said to the jury previously. “The same participants will come, and the same lawyers will likely ask basically the same questions, and get basically the same answers and we will go through this whole process again.”
Slager had been charged with murder in Scott’s killing, but the jury was also allowed to consider a lesser verdict of manslaughter. He would have faced 30 years to life in prison if convicted.
Aside from this trial Slager also faces trial next year in federal court on charges that include: violating civil rights laws; obstruction of justice; and using a firearm while committing an act of violence.