Attorneys for Michael Slager ask that his statements to investigators be excluded from federal trial

‘Outrageous governmental conduct’

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During his state trial, Michael Slager claimed that Walter Scott pointed a Taser at the officer before stepping toward him - GRACE BEAHM/POST AND COURIER
  • Grace Beahm/Post and Courier
  • During his state trial, Michael Slager claimed that Walter Scott pointed a Taser at the officer before stepping toward him
Attorneys for Michael Slager have filed a motion alleging “outrageous governmental conduct” on the part of investigators and have asked that comments made by the former North Charleston officer be suppressed leading up to his upcoming federal trial.

Last May, Slager pled not guilty to federal charges of deprivation of rights under the color of law, use of a weapon during the commission of a violent crime, and obstruction of justice. According to the indictment, prosecutors allege that Slager knowingly and intentionally misled SLED officials tasked with investigating the death of Walter Scott. U.S. attorneys claim that the former officer told SLED agents that he fired his weapon at Scott while Scott was rushing toward him with a Taser. An eyewitness video of the shooting shows Slager repeatedly fire his weapon at Scott as he attempted to flee the officer.

Just days following the shooting, Slager met with SLED agents to discuss his account of the shooting. A new motion from Slager’s attorneys claims that he and his attorney at the time, David Aylor, were “intentionally misled” by SLED agents Angela Peterson and Lt. Charles Ghent, who did not disclose that they were in possession of an eyewitness video of the shooting.

“After speaking with Peterson and Ghent, and erroneously believing that the agents would not lie to an officer of the court ... Aylor directed Slager to sign a waiver of Miranda rights and to submit to the interrogation of Peterson and Ghent,” the defense’s motion states.

During a meeting shortly following this initial round of questioning, Slager and his attorney were shown the video of the shooting. According to Slager’s current legal counsel, Andy Savage and Shaun Kent, Aylor then told Slager that he would no longer represent the officer.

In an email exchange between Savage and Ninth Circuit Solicitor Scarlett Wilson in October, Wilson wrote that Special Agent Peterson stated that investigators were “intentionally vague and perhaps misleading” when initially asked about the case by Aylor, adding, “They told Aylor that his client needed to tell the truth.”

In response to Wilson’s message, Aylor wrote to Slager’s current attorneys, “Peterson wasn’t vague, she lied.”

Slager’s attorneys now ask that Slager’s statements to SLED agents on April 7, 2015, be suppressed in their entirety, arguing that “the SLED agents’ outrageous conduct in lying to an officer of the court shocks the conscience and violated Slager’s due process right to be free from involuntary confession.”


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