Ex-Cop Pleading Guilty in Walter Scott Shooting
Michael Slager will plead guilty to federal civil rights charges
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted May 2, 2017 11:05 AM CDT
Former North Charleston police officer Michael Slager walks from the courthouse during his murder trial at the Charleston County court in Charleston, S.C., Friday, Dec. 2, 2016.    (AP Photo/Chuck Burton)

(Newser) – The former South Carolina police officer who fatally shot Walter Scott, an unarmed black motorist he had pulled over for a broken taillight, will plead guilty in the federal civil rights case against him Tuesday. In return, the state will drop a pending murder charge against him, the AP reports. Slager was fired after the 2015 incident; he claimed Scott grabbed his Taser, but cellphone video shows Slager shooting Scott in the back as he ran away. His first trial on the charge of murdering Scott ended in a mistrial in December after the jury couldn't reach a verdict.

The federal charges filed against Slager last year were called "historic" and were seen as possibly another route to a conviction against him. As the Los Angeles Times reports, he faces three federal charges, including violating Scott's civil rights, and it's not yet clear to which he'll plead guilty. The charges carry a possible sentence of life in prison, but in the plea agreement, prosecutors agreed to recommend a lesser sentence. His federal trial had been scheduled to begin May 15, NBC News reports, and state prosecutors had originally planned to retry him on the murder charge later this year.

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