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First hearing ahead of Michael Slager retrial is set for next week

Slager Trial SLED Notes (copy)

Defense attorney Andy Savage and Deputy Solicitor Bruce DuRant confer with Circuit Judge Clifton Newman in November during Michael's Slager murder trial at the Charleston County courthouse. File/Grace Beahm/Staff

Michael Slager will again appear in a Charleston County courtroom next week as his defense team and prosecutors prepare for his second murder trial in Walter Scott's shooting death.

A hearing has been set for 11 a.m. Monday in downtown Charleston, his attorneys said. The proceeding will be an opportunity for Circuit Judge Clifton Newman to hear any concerns from the opposing sides on the new trial date of March 1.

Slager's lawyers have asked for the trial to be delayed, arguing in part that the date had been scheduled before any pretrial hearing was held.

Slager, a former North Charleston policeman, also is slated to appear May 1 for a separate civil rights trial in U.S. District Court. Whether that federal case happens could hinge on the outcome of the state's murder proceeding.

Slager, now 35, pulled over Scott's car on April 4, 2015, but Scott soon ran. During a struggle, Slager said Scott grabbed his Taser and tried to use it against him, prompting his gunfire in self-defense.

A bystander's cellphone video showed Scott, 50, turning and running away as the stun gun bounced on the ground. He was about 17 feet from Slager when the officer started firing the eight gunshots. Scott was hit five times from behind.

A 12-member jury couldn't decide on Slager's fate in December after a month-long trial. Their options were convictions on murder or manslaughter, or acquittal. With the jury deadlocked, Newman declared a mistrial.

Reach Andrew Knapp at 843-937-5414 or

Andrew Knapp is editor of the Quick Response Team, which covers crime, courts and breaking news. He previously worked as a reporter and copy editor at Florida Today, Newsday and Bangor (Maine) Daily News. He enjoys golf, weather and fatherhood.

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