Jury deadlocked in Michael Slager case, defense requests mistrial

Michael Slager
Michael Slager

CHARLESTON, S.C. – One juror in the trial of former police officer Michael Slager sent a note to the judge saying they “cannot in good conscience consider a guilty verdict.”

A court clerk was sent to ask the jury if they were “hopelessly deadlocked.”

Earlier in the afternoon, the judge in the case had told jurors – who indicated that they were unable to reach a verdict – to continue to deliberate.

Circuit Judge Clifton Newman told the jurors Friday afternoon that they should try again to reach a verdict in the trial of former South Carolina patrolman Michael Slager.

The jury had sent the judge a message a 1 p.m. Friday that they wanted to hear the testimony of a man who took cellphone video of Slager shooting black motorist Walter Scott. Shortly after, jurors sent the judge a note saying they could not agree on a verdict.

Jurors have already deliberated about 14 hours over three days.

The prosecutor did call a recess to review the Allen Charge, asking the jurors to come to together for a verdict.

The jury deliberated all of Thursday before going home to resume Friday.

The former North Charleston police officer was charged with murder in the shooting death of Walter Scott.

The jury is comprised of 11 whites and one black.

Scott was shot five times in the back as he fled from a traffic stop in April 2015. A witness recorded the shooting on cellphone video.

On Thursday, the judge was asked by the jury for the legal difference between fear and passion.

The judge has told the jurors they can consider a lesser charge of voluntary homicide, the taking of another life in the heat of passion.

Slager testified that he feared for his life when he said Scott wrestled with him, got control of his Taser and pointed it at him.

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