Michael Slager files for public defender in murder re-trial
CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCIV) —
Michael Slager has petitioned a court for a public defender as he prepares for his re-trial later this year.
The filing posted on the Charleston County Clerk of Court's website late Friday afternoon.
Slager, a former North Charleston police officer, faces murder charges for the fatal April 4, 2015 shooting of Walter Scott during a traffic stop and foot chase.
During his first trial that ended in a hung jury last year, Slager was represented by noted defense attorney Andy Savage. Savage took on Slager as a pro bono client after the former officer was dropped as a client by a police fraternal organization.
Slager filed suit against the organization and reached a settlement before the case went to trial.
It's not clear if Slager and Savage opted to end the partnership for the re-trial that's tentatively set to begin in late August, or if this is an attempt to allow Savage to represent Slager again.
The trial had been set to being in March, but Savage -- who was representing Slager at the time -- said they could not bring together the requisite experts for that short timeline.
Slager will also appear in federal court this year on charges he violated Scott's civil rights by shooting him.
Since last November's deadlock, Solicitor Scarlett Wilson says she has met with six or seven jurors who gave her insight into their thinking. Of that group, she says all but one juror reached out to the solicitor to discuss the case.
"I feel invigorated by their comments," Wilson said, adding the jury was disappointed they could not carry out their charge completely and render some kind of verdict.
The group of 12, made up of 11 white jurors and one black foreman, tried several times to reach a verdict, including once after claiming to be impossibly deadlocked but agreeing a little more time could sway the group.