Walter Scott didn’t necessarily touch Michael Slager’s Taser, according to DNA analyst

Courtesy: Grace Beahm, Post and Courier

CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCBD) — Day six in the Michael Slager trial began with testimony from Almon Brown, a former SLED agent. His testimony was followed by Tracey Thrower, a SLED firearm examiner, and then Sam Stewart, a DNA analyst for SLED. The brother of Walter Scott, Anthony, also took the stand.  SLED agent Charles Ghent also testified.

Stewart testified though Scott’s DNA was found on Michael Slager’s Taser, that doesn’t mean he necessarily touched the Taser.  Stewart testified it’s possible Scott’s DNA could have been transferred there through a secondary source, like Slager’s own hands. He could not determine how the DNA got on the Taser.

Stewart also examined Walter Scott’s fingernails.  He testified none of Slager’s DNA was found in those clippings.

Senior Special Agent Tracey Thrower, SLED firearm examiner, told the court Slager’s gun had six bullets left in it after the shooting.  When the defense asked if that showed Slager’s restraint, Thrower said he couldn’t not determine that.

Anthony Scott testified he spoke to his brother on the Wednesday before he was shot. When he learned his brother, Walter, planned to buy a new car he was disappointed.  He said he warned Walter it wasn’t wise and he would be profiled in North Charleston.

When SLED agent Charles Ghent took the stand, he told the jury SLED obtained video of the shooting, but didn’t initially tell Slager.  He says he wanted to give Slager a chance to tell the truth.  He is one of the SLED agents to interview Slager following the shooting. He testified Slager said he was in fear of losing his life on the day he shot Walter Scott.  He also says Slager told him he moved the Taser because Slager knew Scott had relayed his location over the phone to an unknown person.  Slager was concerned someone may arrive on the scene before backup officers.

Late in the afternoon Tuesday, Al Brown 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. His testimony was cut short for election day.  Thursday Brown’s testimony continued along the same lines.

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