SLED investigator: “essential evidence” is missing in Slager murder trial

Slager trial

Tuesday first on the stand in the Michael Slager murder trial was Sgt. Scott Wyant.  He was the crime scene officer for the North Charleston Police Department.  Following him, Jacqueline Ong  and former SLED agent, Almon Brown testified.

Testimony was slow at times, until late in the day.   The prosecution asked very specific details about how SLED documented the scene and collected evidence on the day of the shooting. It’s likely part of the defense’s case will be SLED fouled up elements of the investigation.

On the stand Almon Brown, a former SLED agent who investigated the case initially, gave a play-by-play of how evidence was collected. Late in the afternoon he testified “essential evidence” for the jury was missing. Early in the investigation, he requested DNA and fingerprint tests be conducted on Slager’s Taser, but he was overruled by a higher ranking agent.

More questions came up about Slager’s condition when investigators arrived.  Sgt. Wyant testified Slager had some wounds on his hands, arms, and knees, but it appeared he had already cleaned up before pictures were taken at the scene.

Wyant further testified he was told not to conduct trace evidence testing, adding he believed it would be inappropriate for a North Charleston officer to investigate another officer in the same department.  Instead, he expected SLED would conduct the testing.  He testified on darker colored clothing, bodily fluid would be easy to miss with the naked eye. He said an alternative method to test the threads would be more accurate.

Brown testified he was on-call the weekend of the shooting and drove to North Charleston from Columbia. He testified to collecting evidence at the scene, including the Taser and personal items found at the scene.  He told the jury his first priority was documenting Walter Scott’s body, which was in an ant bed.  He recounted the wounds on the body and said he was very concerned because they were on Scott’s backside. That finding was contrary to what he was initially told at the scene.

Testimony was cut short Tuesday for the election.  Testimony resumes Wednesday at 9 a.m.

 

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