Slager Trial: Jury Selected, Excused Until Thursday Morning

The jury has been seated in the Michael Slager case.

Charleston, SC (WLTX) - Jury selection for the trial of the former North Charleston Police officer charged with killing an unarmed man in April 2015 is complete.

Six white men, five white women and one black man will make up the primary panel of jurors. Two white men, two black woman, one white woman and one Hispanic woman were selected as alternates. 

The court had narrowed the list down to 75 Wednesday morning, and the judge and attorney whittled the list down from there. The 75 included  29 white males, 26 were listed as white females, 11 were listed as black females, 5 were listed as black males, 2 were listed as Hispanic females, 1 was listed as an Asian male, and another juror was listed as "other female".

At about 11:10 a.m. News 19's Loren Thomas reported that the final 18 jurors were selected, but a legal challenge regarding the final 18 was filed.

The legal challenge was brought forward by the prosecution. Assistant Solicitor Chad Simpson, who is a part of the team representing the state, said they believed strikes used by the defense against potential jurors were racially motivated.  

The defense used nine out of 10 strikes, seven of them on minorities.

A strike is the process of eliminating a potential juror from the final panel by an attorney on either the defense or prosecution. Both sides are given a limited number of strikes.

Defense attorney Andy Savage gave legal reasoning for strikes and the challenge was dropped by the prosecution.

One primary juror was also released because he is a Merchant Marine and said that he needed to work.

Shortly after the final jury was selected, Judge Clifton Newman excused the remaining jurors for the rest of the day.

Multiple pre-trial motions were filed Tuesday by the defense.

One asked for Slager's indictment to be dismissed. It was denied.

Another motion asked for a change of venue to either Union, Pickens, Edgefield or Marion County.

Slager's attorneys agrued that the media's reporting on the incident, through television, social media and radio made it hard to find jurors that could fairly make a decision. That motion was also denied.

Court adjourned not long after 5 p.m. and it is set to pick back up Thursday at 9 a.m. with opening statements from the prosecution and defense.

To learn more about this trial be sure to read our previous coverage: 5 Things to Know About the Michael Slager Trial

(© 2016 WLTX)


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