Lawyers lay out case in trial of Michael Slager

Slager charged with murder

(WCBD) — The trial of Michael Slager is officially underway following opening statements Thursday morning from the Solicitor, Scarlett Wilson and Slager’s defense attorney Andy Savage.

Wilson’s opening statement lasted 20 minutes. During that time, Wilson told the jury Walter Scott would still be alive if he didn’t run, but said the then police officer should not have shot him five times.  Instead she says Slager had a duty to protect the community, which “includes Scott from his own foolish actions.”

Wilson admitted to the jury Scott’s DNA would be found on Slager’s taser, but said that’s because he was trying to get it off of his body after Slager tased him.

In previous hearings, Savage has said Scott’s DNA is the dominate DNA on the taser and has said that’s a huge part of his case.

Wilson told the judge Slager’s first response to the scene was to stage it by moving the taser closer to Scott’s dead body.  She told the jury Slager also lied to investigators about what happened until the video, shot by a bystander, emerged.

After a short break, Andy Savage addressed the jury.  He shared a narrative about how Slager’s morning started. Savage says Slager tested the taser, which is a piece of equipment he is trained to use to decrease bodily harm to suspects.

Savage told the jury, Slager had been assigned the most crime ridden part of the North Charleston, because he was such an exceptional police officer.

Savage says Walter Scott had a lifestyle of not paying his child support; Scott didn’t just run but physically resisted arrest too. Then he addressed the DNA on the taser.

Savage say you will see from video and audio the real situation with the DNA.

Savage alluded to the video from both the dash camera and the film shot by a bystander, though he had asked the video be limited from trial.

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