Jury selection continued into the second day of the state trial of Michael Slager, the former North Charleston officer charged with the murder of Walter Scott. A final jury is expected to be sworn in Wednesday afternoon, after unresolved pretrial motions are ruled on by the judge.
On Tuesday, state Circuit Judge Clifton Judge Newman took up the issue of a subpoena from the defense requesting information on Feidin Santana, the man who filmed the shooting of Walter Scott. Todd Rutherford, state congressman and Santana’s legal representative, was in the courtroom Tuesday, stating that he would need approval from Judge Newman regarding whether or not releasing Santana’s information to the court would violate attorney-client privilege. It was indicated in court that the evidence requested by the defense included financial information belonging to Santana. Judge Newman ruled that he would review the evidence requested by the defense and release it to the court under an order restricting its release outside of the court. Lead prosecutor Ninth Circuit Solicitor Scarlett Wilson said that she intends to call Santana to the witness stand within the week.
The press was allowed into the courtroom Tuesday afternoon as Judge Newman and attorneys for the defense and prosecution continued questioning potential jurors. Asked to clarify her response to earlier questioning, one potential juror stated that her religious beliefs made her uncomfortable with the thought of judging another individual, saying that she obeys the teachings of the Bible and God is the ultimate judge and jury.
Concerns were raised over the alleged Facebook posts of another potential juror regarding statistics of violent crimes separated by the race of the offenders and victims. The potential juror denied any knowledge of the posts.
Several of those remaining in the jury pool made clear any past relationships they had with those affiliated with law enforcement or government agencies. One potential juror, who was excused due to his age, said he assumed that his jury service would last for a week at the most, but was caught off guard by the large media presence outside the courthouse and the scope of the trial with which he could be involved.
“It’s a bigger deal than I expected,” he told the judge.