Charleston, SC (WLTX) - Defense testimony lasted until 6pm on Tuesday in the Michael Slager murder trial. Slager is the former North Charleston police officer who shot and killed Walter Scott following a traffic stop last year.
Tuesday was all about establishing the character of both Slager and Walter Scott.
North Carolina medical examiner Thomas Owens testified to the presence of cocaine in Scott’s system, but the state objected to his testimony, saying that Scott’s character was not to be questioned during this trial.
The defense however, thought that it was important to bring up, saying that if Scott was still under the influence, which could’ve been a reason why he ran during the traffic stop.
“Running or fleeing from a situation is certainly consistent with the influence of what something like cocaine in your system could cause,” says Owens.
Judge Clifton Newman decided not to allow this testimony to be heard by the jurors. The state has been trying to keep this line of testimony out of the trial.
Slager’s former supervisor, Ronald Web, testified to his character. Web said he did not have any use of force issues during his six months under his supervision.
“While he was in your unit, before April 4, 2015, did he ever have to use force to affect an arrest?” asks Andy Savage. “I don't recall any incident where I had to document any type of force that he used,” says Web.
The final testimony came from Dr. Darrin Porcher. He testified to Slager’s use of force. In Slager’s five years working with the North Charleston Police Dept., he used a taser 14 times. After looking at reports, Porcher testified that those incidents were all justified.
The defense expects to hear testimony from one witness on Wednesday morning. Court will not be held on Thursday and Friday so that jurors can be with their families for Thanksgiving.