Hearing expected for Michael Slager ahead of federal trial

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CHARLESTON COUNTY, SC (WCSC) –

A 2:30 p.m. hearing will be held for a former North Charleston police officer accused of shooting and killing a man in a pursuit after a traffic stop.

Jury selection for Michael Slager’s federal trial is scheduled to begin in Columbia later this month, but it’s possible he could enter a plea today.

The 35-year-old is charged with a civil rights violation, the use of a firearm in the commission of a civil rights offense and obstruction of justice in taking 50-year-old Walter Scott’s life.

The incident happened on April 4, 2015 after Scott ran from a daytime traffic stop for a malfunctioning brake light.

A three-count indictment alleges Slager used excessive force when he shot and killed Scott and intentionally misled SLED investigators by claiming that Scott was coming toward him with a taser at the time that he fired his weapon, “when in truth, Scott was running away.”

If convicted, Slager faces a maximum sentence of life in prison for the civil rights violation, as well as a potential $250,000 fine.

The hearing will be held at the federal courthouse in downtown Charleston.

A more-than-five-week state trial ended in a mistrial last year, after a jury was unable to come to a unanimous decision in the case.

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