Judge declares mistrial in deadly shooting case against ex-SC officer

The courtroom as the judge declares the mistrial on Monday afternoon. WSPA image

CHARLESTON, S.C. (AP) – A mistrial has been declared in the trial of a South Carolina police officer charged with murder in the death of a black motorist.


Former South Carolina patrolman Michael Slager is accused of murder.

Circuit Judge Clifton Newman declared the mistrial after a jury said Monday that it was unable to unanimously agree on a verdict for Slager.

The judge had told jurors they could also consider a lesser charge of voluntary manslaughter

The jury of 11 whites and one black has already discussed the case for more than 19 hours without reaching a verdict and late Friday appeared to be deadlock before the foreman said he thought they could reach a unanimous verdict.

Slager is charged in the shooting death last year of 50-year-old Walter Scott who was shot fleeing a traffic stop in North Charleston.

The shooting was captured on cellphone video that was seen widely.

The jury in the trial of a South Carolina police officer’s murder trial received additional instructions earlier Mondya afternoon on the law in order to try to reach a verdict.

Slager was fired from the North Charleston police department after being charged with murder in the April 2015 shooting death of Scott.

By noon on Monday, the jury had been in deliberations for 19 hours.

When jurors returned Monday morning they had a number of questions, including why voluntary manslaughter was added as a possible verdict and whether the definition of self-defense for a police officer is different than for the average person.

Additional instructions were being read by Circuit Judge Clifton Newman to the panel of one black and 11 white jurors.

(Copyright 2016 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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