VERDICT WATCH: Initial Jury deadlock in police shooting of Walter Scott (Update: resume deliberations Monday)
One holdout juror for not guilty.
You may recall the shooting killing of Walter Scott by police officer Michael Slager.
Video showing Slager shooting Scott in the back as he ran away went viral.
Slager testified in his own defense at the trial. His basic defense was that he acted reasonably given the high stress situation:
The April 4, 2015, shooting stunned the nation after a bystander captured the scene on a cellphone video, images that have been played multiple times in the courtroom during Slager’s trial.
“My family has been destroyed by it. The Scott family has been destroyed by it. It’s horrible,” he said.
Slager, who is white, testified in a subdued voice that he had pulled Scott over for a broken taillight and was preparing to write him a warning ticket when Scott bolted from his car, ran down a road and into a vacant lot.
“In my mind at that time was, people don’t run for a broken taillight. There’s always another reason,” he testified. “I don’t know why he ran. It doesn’t make any sense to me.”
Slager described yelling “stop” and “Taser! Taser! Taser!” as he caught up to Scott.
He said he shot his Taser three times, firing both sets of electric darts before using the emptied weapon near Scott’s skin in a so-called “dry stun.”
Slager said Scott fell to the ground after he fired the second time, and he tried to subdue him, pushing him down with an elbow while holding the Taser in one hand and reaching for his radio to call for backup with the other. That was when Scott grabbed the stun gun, he said.
“He rips it out of my hand,” Slager said, demonstrating the position he said he was in.
“I knew I was in trouble,” Slager testified, adding that Scott “was extending his right arm, leaning forward and coming at me.”
“I was scared” and in “total fear that Mr. Scott didn’t stop” resisting arrest, Slager said.
The video begins at roughly this point, showing Scott breaking away from what Slager said was their confrontation over the Taser.”
At that point I pulled my firearm and pulled the trigger,” he said. “I fired until the threat was stopped as I was trained to do.”
The trial ended, and the Jury indicated in notes to the Judge that it was deadlocked with one holdout juror refusing to convict. However, the jury continued to deliberate, via Post and Courier live blog:
5:35 p.m. The jury wants to keep deliberating in the murder trial of Michael Slager.
The jury foreperson told the judge about the jury’s request Friday evening.
The request comes an hour after the jury told the judge that they were deadlocked in reaching an unanimous verdict.
The jury faces three options: a guilty verdict on murder or voluntary manslaughter, or an acquittal. If they cannot unanimously agree on either, the jury would be hung, and a mistrial would be declared.
4:20 p.m. Judge says he’s received a long note from one juror saying he “cannot consider a guilty verdict.”
“I still cannot without a reasonable doubt convict the defendant,” the juror writes. “I cannot and will not change my mind.” The judge sends the clerk to request that the jury foreperson let him know if the jurors are “hopelessly deadlocked.”
4:10 p.m. The jury has returned to the courtroom for the second time today after first coming back with a note indicating that they were deadlocked and being sent back out by the judge to try again at deliberating.
The Judge sent the jury back for more deliberation.
We will monitor and update if and when a verdict is reached or a mistrial declared.
UPDATE – The Jury will resume deliberations on Monday.DONATE
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