SOURCE: Post and Courier – March 14, 2017, Andrew Knapp | Visit postandcourier.com here
The top prosecutor pursuing a second trial of Michael Slager did not initially support a murder charge for the former policeman, his attorney said Tuesday.
The development came as a judge considers Slager’s request for public funding of his defense.
Andy Savage, who has worked on the case for free, said the prosecutor disagreed with state agents’ decision to arrest Slager on a murder charge in Walter Scott’s shooting death. Instead, he said, 9th Circuit Solicitor Scarlett Wilson pushed for manslaughter.
Slager’s first trial ended last year when a jury couldn’t reach a verdict on either charge.
“I’m not going to take up the cost that the solicitor is causing the taxpayers of Charleston by these multiple prosecutions on a charge that she doesn’t believe in,” Savage said Tuesday.
“(The prosecutors) are the ones that pushed this … because of the choices they have made contrary to their own personal opinion on the proper charge, and contrary to what they know” about the jurors’ opinions.
The issue at hand is the local public defender’s request to take up Slager’s defense, though Savage said he would remain involved. A judge did not immediately rule during a hearing in downtown Charleston.