Michael Slager’s defense wants a fresh look at SLED’s Taser evidence

Michael Slager

After finding fibers on Michael Slager’s Taser that state investigators might have missed, attorneys for the former North Charleston police officer want to retest the evidence that the authorities did discover.

The device is a key piece in the killing of 50-year-old Walter Scott. Slager’s lawyers have said that the two were fighting for control of the Taser before Scott started running away. A bystander’s video showed the officer shooting Scott in the back.

The State Law Enforcement Division, which is probing the death, came across both men’s DNA on the stun gun, though the experts didn’t note where on the device the evidence was found.

The defense team had the Taser sent to an outside laboratory, where an expert found “trace strands of fibers,” a court filing stated. The expert at WD Forensics stopped his examination and is expected to restart only under a SLED investigator’s watch.

Now sought through defense attorney Andy Savage’s filing on Friday is a chance to inspect the swabs that SLED used to collect the men’s DNA from the Taser.

“It may now be relevant to the investigation to analyze the DNA collection swabs,” the motion stated.

Savage asked that Circuit Judge Clifton Newman order SLED to promptly send the items to the outside lab.

“Time is of the essence,” the motion stated.

Slager, 34, is expected to be tried in late October on a murder charge.

Reach Andrew Knapp at 843-937-5414 or twitter.com/offlede.