A year after state mistrial, officer awaits federal sentence

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By MEG KINNARD

Associated Press

CHARLESTON, S.C. (AP) – A year ago, former South Carolina police officer Michael Slager heard a judge declare a mistrial in the state murder case against him for shooting an unarmed black motorist to death.

This week, Slager sits in a federal courtroom, where a judge is considering how much time the former North Charleston officer will spend in federal prison for the shooting.

Slager pleaded guilty in May to violating Walter Scott’s civil rights, shooting the motorist in the back as he ran away. Sentencing proceedings are moving quickly, since the judge has all the state evidence.

The federal judge has also allowed expert testimony blocked from the state trial. A forensic analyst testified Slager fought with Scott before their fatal encounter.

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