Judges deny request for former SC cop Michael Slager’s appeal to be reheard

Judges deny request for former SC cop Michael Slager’s appeal to be reheard
Michael Slager's attorneys have filed the opening brief in his appeal case.

CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) - A three judge federal appeals court panel has denied a request from attorneys for former North Charleston police officer Michael Slager, who wanted his appeal to be heard again.

The denial was filed in federal court on Tuesday. His attorneys had initially filed for a possible rehearing on Jan. 18.

Slager’s request for an appeal was based on the argument that the district court sentenced him using sentencing guidelines for second-degree murder and an additional two-level “enhancement.” Slager’s attorneys argued the court should have based his sentence using guidelines for voluntary manslaughter.

Slager was indicted in May 2016 by a federal grand jury that alleged Slager, “while acting under the color of law as an officer with the North Charleston Police Department, shot [and killed] Walter Scott without legal justification, willfully depriving him of the right...to be free from the use of unreasonable force by a law enforcement officer.”

Slager was also tried on a charge of murder in state court, but that trial resulted in a hung jury and mistrial.

Slager then entered a global plea agreement with federal and state prosecutors, agreeing to plead guilty in federal court to one count of depriving Scott of his civil rights under color of law. In exchange, federal prosecutors agreed to drop remaining counts in the grand jury’s indictment and South Carolina agreed not to retry Slager and dismissed the murder charge.

Slager, 37, is an inmate at Englewood Federal Correctional Institution, a low-security facility in Littleton, Colorado.

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