The Latest: Defense begins case in black motorist death

CHARLESTON, S.C. (AP) " The Latest on the trial of a former South Carolina police officer charged with murder in the shooting death of an unarmed black motorist (all times local):

6:30 p.m.

The defense has called its first witness in the trial of Michael Slager, the white former South Carolina patrolman charged with murder in the shooting death of an unarmed black motorist.

Slager faces 30 years to life if convicted of the charge in the death of 50-year-old Walter Scott, who was shot while fleeing from a traffic stop in North Charleston in April of 2015. The shooting was captured on dramatic cellphone video.

Court adjourned for the day Wednesday after jurors heard from the first defense witness. David Hallimore, an audio expert, played enhanced audio from Slager's uniform microphone taken at the time of the shooting. Slager can be heard shouting "Taser! Taser! Taser!" as he ran after Scott.

The defense contends that Scott was shot after getting control of Slager's stun gun.

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4:30 p.m.

A South Carolina judge has refused to dismiss the case against a white former patrolman charged with murder in the shooting death of an unarmed motorist.

The prosecution rested its case Wednesday in the trial of Michael Slager who is charged in the death of Walter Scott as Scott fled a traffic stop in April of 2015. Cellphone video of Scott being shot in the back was captured by a bystander and stunned the nation.

After the state rested, defense attorney Andy Savage asked Circuit Judge Clifton Newman to dismiss the case against his client. Savage argued that the prosecution had not shown there was malice on Slager's part as required by South Carolina law.

But the judge ruled that the jury could infer malice from the fact that a deadly weapon was used and that Scott was shot in the back.

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4:15 p.m.

The prosecution has rested its case in the trial of a white former South Carolina patrolman charged in the shooting death of an unarmed black motorist.

The final state witness on Wednesday was an investigator from the State Law Enforcement Division who recorded a 3-D computerized scan of the crime scene that was shown to the jury.

Earlier a state witness showed an animation of the shooting compiled from cellphone and dashcam video, police radio chatter and drone footage of the scene.

Former North Charleston Patrolman Michael Slager is charged with murder in the shooting death of Walter Scott as Scott fled from a traffic stop in April of 2015. The shooting was captured on dramatic cellphone video recorded by a bystander.

The prosecution rested after calling 32 witnesses over nine days.

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10:50 a.m.

The jury in the trial of a white former South Carolina patrolman is seeing an animation of the shooting of Walter Scott.

Michael Slager is on trial for murder in the shooting death of Scott, an unarmed black motorist killed as he fled from a traffic stop in April of 2015. The shooting in North Charleston was captured on dramatic cellphone video that stunned the nation.

A state witness, Bill Williams, compiled the animation from the cellphone video as well as dashcam video, drone footage of the scene and police call audio. He said he spent 500 hours putting it together and was paid $15,000 by the state.

The defense attempted Tuesday to block the animation from being entered as evidence arguing that Williams lacked the formal training to be considered an expert in crime scene re-creation.

But Judge Anthony Newman ruled prosecutors could introduce the video.

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3:20 a.m.

Jurors in the murder trial of a white former South Carolina patrolman who shot an unarmed black motorist will see an animation of the shooting before the prosecution rests its case.

Michael Slager is charged with murder in the April 2015 death of Walter Scott as the motorist fled a traffic stop. The shooting was captured on cellphone video.

The prosecution was expected to rest Tuesday, but lawyers spent much of the day arguing over the state's final witness. The witness, Bill Williams, compiled the animation from cellphone and dashcam video, drone footage of the crime scene and police call audio.

The defense argued that Williams, who's largely self-taught, didn't qualify as an expert. Judge Clinton Newman ruled he could testify and jurors will see the animation Wednesday.

This story has been automatically published from the Associated Press wire which uses US spellings

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