Charleston police officer Michael Slager pleads guilty, faces prison

CHARLESTON, S.C. (AP) – The Latest on fired police officer Michael Slager’s plea agreement in the death of Walter Scott. (all times local):

3 p.m.

Fired North Charleston Police officer Michael Slager has pled guilty to violating the civil rights of an unarmed black motorist he shot in back. The death of Walter Scott was seen worldwide after a bystander recorded it on his cellphone.

Slager likely faces prison under the terms of his plea deal with prosecutors.

He spoke little on Tuesday, except to quietly answer the judge’s questions.

Several of Scott’s relatives sat on the front row in the courtroom gallery as the prosecutor read a bare-bones description of the shooting. One of them closed his eyes tightly while another hung his head.

Slager has been out on bond for much of the time since the shooting, but now that he’s guilty, he was handcuffed by a federal marshal and led from the courtroom as Scott’s family looked on.

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12:20 p.m.

Attorneys for fired police officer Michael Slager confirm he will plead guilty to a federal civil rights charge in the shooting death of unarmed black motorist Walter Scott.

The law office of Andy Savage said in a statement Tuesday that Slager would be entering the plea during a hearing later in the day in Charleston.

Savage’s statement confirms information in a copy of the plea agreement obtained earlier in the day by The Associated Press.

Slager faces a possible life sentence for violating Scott’s civil rights during the April 2015 traffic stop, but prosecutors have agreed to seek a lesser sentence.

A bystander captured Scott’s death on a cellphone video viewed millions of times.

Savage said he hopes the guilty plea might help Scott’s family heal.

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10 a.m.

Former South Carolina police officer Michael Slager is pleading guilty to violating the civil rights of an unarmed black motorist he shot and killed as he ran from a 2015 traffic stop.

A copy of the plea agreement obtained by The Associated Press on Tuesday also shows state prosecutors are dropping a pending murder charge against Slager. The AP obtained the agreement from a lawyer familiar with the case who didn’t want to talk publicly before it was finalized.

Slager was scheduled to appear in federal court Tuesday for motions ahead of his federal trial planned for later this month in the death of Walter Scott.

A bystander captured Scott’s shooting on cellphone video, viewed millions of times.

Slager’s first trial on state murder charges ended in a hung jury.

(Copyright 2017 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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