Nearly two months after learning his sentence for fatally shooting Walter Scott, former North Charleston police officer Michael Slager left the Charleston County jail on Friday morning. His next stop: a federal prison.
Slager, 36, was released at 9:30 a.m., jail records and Capt. Roger Antonio of the Charleston County Sheriff's Office confirmed.
"The marshals came and got him," Antonio said. "Destination: unknown."
The U.S. Marshals Service typically moves federal prisoners from local jails to their new homes in the Bureau of Prisons. A prison system website indicated Friday afternoon Slager had yet to arrive at a facility.
Slager's attorney, Andy Savage of Charleston, said that would happen later in the day. But Savage would not say exactly where Slager would spend his time.
The former lawman was sentenced in early December to 20 years in prison for violating Scott's civil rights in the April 2015 killing. He has filed paperwork stating his intent to appeal the penalty.
Then a patrolman for the North Charleston Police Department, he stopped Scott's car for a broken brake light, but Scott soon jumped out and ran. Slager chased him.
The officer initially said Scott wrested control of his Taser during a fight, prompting his gunfire in self-defense.
But a cellphone video captured Scott separating himself from the confrontation and running away as Slager fired eight times. Five bullets hit him from behind.
The footage drew broad scrutiny amid a national inspection of police uses of force, particularly against black people.
A federal judge in December found that Slager had committed second-degree murder while violating Scott's right to be free from excessive force, a finding that boosted his punishment. Among other factors that tempered the penalty from an even lengthier sentence, the judge said Slager could be susceptible to abuse in prison because he's a former policeman.
The prisons website pegged Slager's estimated release date at Jan. 2, 2034.