Slager Trial (copy)

Michael Slager, a former North Charleston patrolman, sits for an October hearing in downtown Charleston in his murder case. File/Grace Beahm/Staff

An attorney for Michael Slager, the former North Charleston police officer who shot fleeing motorist Walter Scott, has asked a judge to delay the start of his state retrial.

Andy Savage filed a motion for continuance on Friday, according to court documents. That trial was scheduled to begin March 1.

In the documents Savage argues the retrial should be delayed because there are 23 pending murder cases in Charleston County.

Two of those cases have arrest dates in 2006 and 2007, and the defendants remain incarcerated, the documents said. Of the 23 cases, 20 defendants are being held in pre-trial detention.

Savage also cited a lack of a pre-trial conference or other means to identify schedule conflicts for attorneys and witnesses.

The documents list 10 individuals, including Savage himself, who have various obligations during the period the trial was scheduled.

In addition to issues with the state case, Savage pointed to Slager's upcoming federal trial.

Jury selection in that case is scheduled to begin May 1, according to the documents. 

Slager's murder trial ended in a deadlock after five weeks. A mistrial was declared Dec. 5.

State authorities arrested Slager, now 35, three days after the April 4, 2015, shooting death of Scott, 50. He pulled over Scott's car for a broken brake light, but Scott ran. In a confrontation, Slager said 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. A 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.

Reach Gregory Yee at 843-937-5908. Follow him on Twitter @GregoryYYee.

Gregory Yee covers breaking news and public safety. He's a native Angeleno and previously covered crime and courts for the Press-Telegram in Long Beach, CA. He studied journalism and Spanish literature at the University of California, Irvine.