A December sentencing has been scheduled for the former North Charleston officer who shot and killed unarmed driver Walter Scott during a traffic stop struggle.
Michael Slager pleaded guilty in May to a federal charge of violating Scott’s civil rights during the April 2015 stop. A state jury failed to find him guilty of a crime in Scott’s death during a separate trial last year.
The Charleston Post and Courier reports a federal judge will hand down a sentance to Slager after hearings which could last several days.
Slager has insisted he shot Scott after the other man grabbed his Taser not long after running from the stop. However a bystander’s cell phone footage of the shooting showed Scott was running from the struggle with his back to Slager when the officer opened fire.
After the video became public, state agents arrested Slager on a murder charge. He was tried in state court in October 2016, but 12 jurors could not unanimously agree on murder, voluntary manslaughter or no crime at all.
By law, the former patrolman could face between no prison time at all and life behind bars, but the newspaper reports experts have estimated a range of 5-20 years.