The case drew national attention after a bystander's video of the shooting became public, fueling fresh concerns about how minorities are treated by police in the United States.
"There's nothing in Michael Slager's background, from birth to today, of any racial animus or any harassment of minority members of the community", his attorney Andy Savage said, countering assertions that the officer acted violently because Scott was black.
Judge Norton, according to Burr, said that no matter what sentence he hands down, the Scott family and Slager family won't like it.
"I miss my father every day", the high school student said through tears. "I would like you to sentence the defendant to the strongest sentence the laws allow because he murdered my one and only father". Federal officials have recommended 10 to almost 13 years in prison, but his attorneys argue the 36-year-old Slager should face far less time. Prosecutors had argued that Slager committed second-degree murder, while the defense claimed his offense was, at most, voluntary manslaughter.
Court will reconvene Thursday morning at 10 a.m.
Walter Scott in his Coast Guard days.
On April 4, 2015, Slager stopped the auto Scott was driving in North Charleston for a broken rear brake light.
State prosecutors had tried Slager for murder last fall, but the judge declared a mistrial after a mostly white jury failed to reach a unanimous verdict-either on the charge of murder or a lesser manslaughter charge.
The defense is arguing that Scott grabbed Slager's stun gun and had an altercation with him on the ground, which can not be clearly seen in the bystander's video. During her statement, she locked eyes with Slager, who began crying. Slager chased him for 200 yards and, then, the two men scuffled.
Mother Jones covered that trial and the events that led up to it in a feature story that included a visit to the academy where Slager was trained.
In an unusual move, attorneys for Slager called the state prosecutor to the stand to question her about their assertions that she and federal prosecutors unfairly teamed up on Slager. "Michael, I forgive you, and Michael, I do pray for you now and for your family, because we've gone through a traumatic time", he said.
Had there been no video, prosecutors said, it is likely Slager would not have been prosecuted.
Dr. Morgan wrote in a report after meeting with Slager that the former officer did not remember Scott being on top of him. The video showed Scott running away from Slager and the officer firing eight times. A microphone on Slager's uniform also picked up Scott saying, "F-k the police" after Slager asked him to get on the ground, the expert testified.
Scott's mother, Judy Scott, said she was on the phone with her when he was pulled over and told him to comply with the officer's demands "so there wouldn't be any trouble".
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