CHARLESTON, S.C. (AP) — The Latest on the trial of a former South Carolina police officer charged with murder in the shooting death of an unarmed black motorist (all times local):
A forensic pathologist testifying in the murder trial of a white former police officer who fatally shot a black motorist says the fatal wound was caused by a bullet that entered Walter Scott's back and struck his lungs and heart.
Lee Marie Tormos is a forensic pathologist at the Medical University of South Carolina. Tormos testified at the trial of Michael Slager on Wednesday that Scott was shot five times. She also said his wounds were consistent with those depicted on a cellphone video of the shooting that was distributed widely and stunned the nation.
Tormos also says Scott had lacerations on his hands, wrists and arms consistent with a fight on an asphalt surface. Slager's defense team contends the two men struggled over the officer's stun gun and Scott got control of it before the shooting.
Tormos also testified that toxicology tests showed that Scott had cocaine in his system but did not test positive for alcohol.
The attorney for the fired white officer who fatally shot black motorist Walter Scott is hammering away at what the defense calls a shoddy state investigation.
State crime scene investigator Jamie Johnson testified Wednesday that about two weeks after the shooting in April 2015 she returned to the scene because two additional bullets were recovered. She said that experts hired by defense attorney Andy Savage alerted investigators to the find.
On cross-examination by Savage, Johnson said she was not aware that local residents had discovered the bullets using a toy metal detector. She also testified that a Taser used by former North Charleston police officer Michael Slager was never checked for fingerprints. She also said it was swabbed for DNA. Almon Brown, another state investigator, said Tuesday that the genetic sample wasn't tested.
The defense contends that Scott was shot after he wrestled with Slager and got control of the stun gun. A dramatic cellphone video shows Scott running away without the spent stun gun until Slager fires eight times at his back, felling him to the ground at a distance of dozens of feet.
Slager faces 30 years to life if convicted of murder in the case.
Testimony has resumed in the attorney for a n the trial of a white former South Carolina police officer charged in the shooting death of an unarmed black motorist.
State Law Enforcement Division crime scene investigator Almon Brown was on the stand undergoing cross-examination when court adjourned in Charleston on Tuesday. But the completion of his cross-examination has been delayed until Thursday because he has a medical appointment.
The first witness the prosecution called Wednesday was crime scene investigator Jamie Johnson, who also works for the division. She opened her testimony identifying evidence found at the scene of the April 2015 shooting.
Michael Slager faces 30 years to life if convicted in the slaying of 50-year-old Walter Scott. Scott was shot in the back as he ran from a traffic stop. The shooting was captured on dramatic cellphone video.
Defense lawyers for a white ex-patrolman from South Carolina charged in the death of a black motorist are trying to show that the state bungled the investigation.
Michael Slager is charged with murder in the April, 2015 death of Walter Scott, the motorist he shot in the back while the man fled from a traffic stop in North Charleston. A bystander recorded the shooting with a cellphone.
Almon Brown, who investigated the crime scene for the State Law Enforcement Division, returns to the stand Wednesday where he's undergoing cross-examination.
He testified Tuesday that there was only a three-hour investigation of the crime scene, that a missing probe from Slager's Taser was never found, and that the state never tested the stun gun for DNA. The defense contends Slager and Scott wrestled over the Taser.