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Slager's attorneys want SLED statement tossed out before trial

Michael Slager

Testimony continued Monday as a federal judge considers excluding from evidence the statement former North Charleston Police officer Michael Slager gave to SLED agents three days after the April 4, 2015 shooting of Walter Scott.

Defense attorney Andy Savage said Slager was tricked into giving the statement, and SLED agents lied to Slager's former attorney, David Aylor, about having video tape evidence of the shooting.

Testimony revealed SLED agents had the video, recorded on witness Feidin Santana's cell phone, the night before they interviewed Slager.

Prosecutors said there was no obligation for investigators to reveal they had the tape, and Slager made his statement voluntarily.

Slager continued his testimony from Friday, when he was asked to review notes from that interview written by SLED agents, as well as the transcript.

However, prosecutors were stunned to learn Savage instructed his client not to review the documents. Prosecutors then asked Judge Norton to sanction Savage.

Slager is charged with obstruction of justice over what he told SLED agents in the interview. He's also charged with using a weapon to commit a violent crime, and violating Walter Scott's civil rights under the color of law.

There was also a motion Monday by the government to disqualify the opinions of a SLED expert.

The defense wants Agent Megan Fletcher to testify as an expert witness. They believe an experiment she conducted will show that Slager could have been tazed based on the damage to his uniform.

However, the government said her experiment doesn't rise to the level of expert testimony and is irrelevant because Slager never said he was dry stunned.

Friday, prosecutors filed a motion asking Judge David Norton to bar Slager's attorneys from bringing up certain aspects of Scott's background during the trial, arguing Scott's criminal history, unpaid child support and drug use are irrelevant to the altercation with Slager and could unfairly influence a jury.

Savage filed a motion in opposition Friday, saying Scott's background is relevant because it could provide context to Scott's state of mind the day of the shooting,

Prosecutors on Monday filed a request with Judge Norton to revise the official jury instructions for Slager's upcoming trial. The jury charge is expected to be finalized by next week.

The trial is set to begin in three weeks on May 15.

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