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Michael Slager, a former North Charleston, South Carolina police officer, shot and killed Walter in 2015. Slager is now asking for his 20-year sentence to be vacated.
Slager pleaded guilty to a civil rights charge in 2017 after shooting Scott five times in the back during a traffic stop.
According to WCSC-TV, Slager recently brought a motion to vacate, set aside, or correct his sentence, claiming ineffective counsel.
On Monday (April 12), during an evidentiary hearing, attorney Andy Savage testified that Judge David Norton said during the 2017 trial that it “was not a murder case” and didn’t believe Slager deserved 20 years.
CBS also reports, Savage “said the judge discounted the pre-sentencing report in sentencing Slager to 20 years, but that the judge’s alleged comments didn’t sway his (Savage’s) performance in the case in any manner.”
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Savage called Slager a “very, very, very good person” who dedicated his life to service during his testimony.
“I feel terrible,” he said. “My judgement was blemished by all the good things that I knew about Michael.”
It’s not clear how much time Savage felt his client deserved after killing the unarmed forklift operator.
On April 13, a federal judge sharply criticized Slager’s bid to overturn his 20-year prison sentence. “Calling Mr. Savage ineffective is ridiculous,” U.S. District Judge Richard Gergel said at the end of the two-day hearing.
Gergel did not make a final decision on Tuesday and said he will give Slager’s bid “further thought,” according to The Slate.
Video of Walter Scott being killed by Slager was released shortly after the incident. Scott is seen fleeing from Slager, who decided not to chase after him but rather fire five shots into Scott’s back.
Walter Scott was only 50 years old.