Jurors moving into a second day of deliberations are reviewing transcripts of the testimony that former patrolman Michael Slager gave this week during his murder trial in South Carolina.
They also will be provided a copy of the testimony of Angela Peterson, the lead South Carolina Law Enforcement Division agent who investigated the shooting death of 50-year-old Walter Scott.
The jury of 11 whites and one black, after a month of testimony, had deliberated more than six hours over two days when Judge Clifton Newman called attorneys into the courtroom Thursday afternoon.
Newman said the jurors had asked for the transcripts and the attorneys had no objections.
Slager is charged in the death of Scott, who was shot five times in the back fleeing a traffic stop last year. The shooting was captured on dramatic cellphone video that stunned the nation in April of last year.
By early Thursday afternoon, the jury had deliberated more than four hours over two days. Circuit Judge Clifton Newman told the jury before they started discussions late Wednesday that they could consider a lesser charge of voluntary manslaughter.
To convict Slager of murder, the jury would have to be convinced he had malice toward Scott. A murder conviction would carry a penalty of 30 years to life. Under the law, manslaughter is a killing done in the heat of passion after someone is provoked. It carries a sentence of two to 30 years.
Scott ran from his car into a vacant lot after Slager pulled him over for a broken taillight. Slager testified that he chased him down, but Scott refused to be subdued and tried to run away again.
During his closing argument Wednesday, defense attorney Andy Savage argued that the brief video seen widely in the media and on the internet doesn’t tell the whole story of how Slager yelled at Scott to stop and fired his stun gun three times.
The defense contends that Slager only fired his gun because he feared for his life after Scott wrestled away the officer’s Taser.
Wilson urged jurors to ignore defense attempts to distract them from what they can see with their own eyes on the video. She also pulled up evidence photos showing Slager with his radio and earpiece still in place after the shooting.
“That is not the sign of a violent, throw-down, life-threatening fight,” she said.