Decision Expected Thursday in Michael Slager Sentencing Trial
CHARLESTON, SC (BRODIE HART, WTAT-TV) — The Michael Slager sentencing trial is expected to come to an end today. We may soon learn just how long he will spend in jail following the 2015 shooting of Walter Scott.
Homeland Security is already gathering outside the federal courthouse in downtown Charleston in preparation for that major decision.
Thursday’s hearing, which will get underway at 10:00 a.m., marks the fourth day of the sentencing phase. Attorneys have already called more than a half dozen witnesses this week which have made for several emotional days in the courtroom for Walter Scott’s family.
Walter Scott’s son, Miles, was also called to the witness stand on Wednesday. The highschooler held a picture of his late father while he was questioned, getting very emotional as he read a statement.
“I miss my dad so much I can’t sleep at night. I only had one father, I cry most of the time because I will never see him again. I still can’t believe he is gone. I would like you to sentence the defendant to the strongest sentence the law will allow because he murdered my father, my one and only father.”
The judge may hand down a life sentence or it could just be a sentence of probation, but there could be one thing that will saw the judges decision.
On Wednesday, defense attorneys called a surprise witness, solicitor Scalette Wilson, who prosecuted Michael Slager in state court. That case ended in a mistrial earlier this year.
Wilson was questioned about her involvement with federal officials in this case.
Former state Attorney General Charlie Condon says the judge now has a lot to consider when determining Slager’s sentence.
“He’s got to determine who is right with this, is it the probation department with murder vs. second-degree murder, or is the government right? On top of that, he has to determine if there is obstruction of justice. Under the sentencing guidelines, the defense can ask for a what’s called a downward departure based upon victim conduct.”
He also said Slager’s safety is an issue and the judge will recommend where he serves his sentence. Ultimately the federal system will have final say.
We will continue to follow this case on air and online. Be sure to check back for updates on foxcharleston.com