Attorneys for the former North Charleston police officer who shot Walter Scott want jurors for his federal civil rights trial to be picked from all parts of South Carolina.
The outcome of Michael Slager's second murder trial in state court, which is set for March 1, could affect what happens with the federal case that's scheduled for two months later, on May 1.
But the filing this week in U.S. District Court signaled that, for the first time, prosecutors and defense lawyers in both cases are moving ahead with a specific court date in mind.
State authorities arrested Slager, now 35, three days after the April 4, 2015, shooting death of Scott, 50, that was captured on video. He wasn't indicted on three federal charges — violation of rights under the color of law, using a firearm in a violent crime and obstruction of justice — until May 2016.
U.S. District Judge David Norton had postponed the civil rights case until the state's murder proceeding ended in December with a hung jury and a mistrial.
With the federal case again on track, defense attorney Andy Savage asked Norton to order that the jury pool be made up of residents randomly selected from the entire South Carolina federal district. The jury that could not agree on a verdict in the murder case consisted only of Charleston County residents.
A district-wide jury is required, Savage and attorney Shaun Kent wrote in the filing Monday, "to (ensure) the efficient selection of impartial jurors" and "due to the extensive pretrial publicity in this case."
The attorneys also asked for prospective jurors to be chosen from each of the 11 federal divisions in the state.
Prosecutors, led by Assistant U.S. Attorney Eric Klumb, did not immediately file a response to the request.
Slager pulled over Scott's car for a broken brake light, but Scott ran. In a confrontation, Slager said that he used a Taser to try to subdue Scott but that Scott kept fighting back. Slager said he pulled his pistol and fired after Scott took away his Taser.
The bystander's video footage showed Scott turning and running away as Slager started shooting. Five of the eight shots from Slager's gun hit Scott from behind.