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Michael Slager faces 20 years in prison in SC shooting death

Michael Slager faces 20 years in prison in SC shooting death

The ruling by USA district court judge David Norton at a federal hearing addressed the underlying offense against Michael Slager, 36, for violating Scott's civil rights during a 2015 shooting.

Slager, a former North Charleston officer, pulled Scott over on April 4, 2015, for a broken brake light.

A federal judge ruled that Slager committed second-degree murder and obstruction of justice.

Slager, 36, who is white, earlier pleaded guilty to a federal civil rights offense against Scott. Slager, a former member of the North Charleston Police Department, could have faced life in prison. He said he shot the 50-year-old black motorist in self-defense after Scott tried to grab his Taser.

In court on Thursday, members of Scott's family offered forgiveness to Slager but said their pain had not diminished. (In a presentencing memo, Slager's lawyers even cited Jeff Sessions' memory lapses while under oath to justify discrepancies in Slager's accounts.) Prosecutors, meanwhile, argued that Slager's choice to shoot a fleeing man showed malicious intent and warranted a punishment of life in prison.

Words used by both Walter Scott and Michael Slager were the highlights of testimony from experts brought on by Slager's defense team, during day two of the sentencing hearing. Scott jumped out of the vehicle and ran. "It is time to call the shooting of Walter Scott what it was: It was a murder".

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Prosecutors' first witness was the man who recorded the shooting on the way to his job at a barbershop.

The shooting was captured on a bystander's cellphone and shared around the world, setting off Black Lives Matter protests across the U.S.as demonstrators said it was another egregious example of police officers' mistreatment of African-Americans.

Scott's older brother, Anthony, told the court he'd become depressed after the shooting and that he was probably the last in his family to be able to forgive Slager. Slager contends he was securing the weapon.

Federal authorities allege Slager obstructed justice by misleading officials about his encounter with Scott, including moving the stun gun from where it had fallen prior to the shooting.

Slager's state trial ended when a panel of 11 white jurors and one black juror deadlocked a year ago after deliberations over four days.

A state murder trial ended last December with a hung jury, and state prosecutors dropped the murder case in exchange for the plea in federal court.