Slager sentencing could become miniature trial

File - Michael Slager in court

Former North Charleston police officer Michael Slager will appear in court today for sentencing, and it's a hearing attorneys are saying will be no easy matter.

Those close to the case say what is often a quick process may turn into a miniature trial.

Former South Carolina attorney general Charlie Condon says prosecutors and defense attorneys still don't agree on how much time the man charged in Walter Scott's death will spend in prison. Prosecutors want a life sentence. Slager's attorneys say they want the sentence of 10 years.

Ultimately, the decision is up to the judge, but this is a situation where both sides are expected to call witnesses to back up their arguments. It's not something you see in most sentencing hearings.

"This is an extremely rare event in that typically at sentencing hearings, most issues have been decided," Condon said. "They typically only last a few hours, and that's even a longer one. This one has potentiality for lasting several days because there's a fundamental disagreement between the defense and really the probation department on what to call this."

Slager pleaded guilty to civil rights charges in federal court last May.

The sentencing, which was scheduled to begin at 9:30 a.m., could stretch all week.

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