The Michael Slager jury will continue to deliberate Monday morning despite saying Friday they could not reach a consensus in the police shooting trial featuring cellphone video that stunned the nation.
After the defense team had twice asked for a mistrial, the jury came back into the courtroom just before 5:30 p.m., and the foreman said jurors wanted further explanation of the law and that they wanted to continue deliberating. One juror was a holdout for a conviction, the foreman told the judge.
Just after 6 p.m., jurors said they wanted to return Monday. They were “beat and need time,” the foreman said, and they’ll have questions for the judge Monday morning.
They were unusual developments in the much-watched case of Slager, the fired North Charleston policeman charged with murder in the shooting death of unarmed black motorist Walter Scott.
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Slager was tried on the charge of murder. But Judge Clifton Newman told the jury before they started discussions late Wednesday 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 he chased him down, but Scott refused to be subdued and tried to run away again.