The Latest: Police sergeant: Slager "a very good officer"

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Posted: Nov 22, 2016 1:49 PM
The Latest: Police sergeant: Slager "a very good officer"

CHARLESTON, S.C. (AP) — The Latest on the trial of a former South Carolina police officer charged with murder in the shooting of an unarmed black motorist (all times local):

12:50 p.m.

Michael Slager's former police supervisor has testified that Slager was "a very good officer" and that he could recall getting only one complaint about him.

The defense in Slager's South Carolina murder trial called North Charleston police Sgt. Ronald Webb to the stand on Tuesday. Slager, who is white, is charged in the April 2015 shooting death of Walter Scott, an unarmed black motorist who fled from a traffic stop.

Webb said he was Slager's supervisor for six months before the shooting.

He testified that Slager got "a pretty good appraisal" about four months before the incident and that Slager did what was required for a North Charleston officer. Webb said he didn't recall Slager ever missing any training or being late for duty.

He said once he was called to a traffic stop Slager had made and the motorist was so irate he was pulled over that it took three officers to calm him down. He did not give any more details about that traffic stop.

Slager was fired after cellphone video of the Scott shooting taken by a passerby was released and he was charged with murder.

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This story has been corrected to show that Michael Slager's former police supervisor recalled getting only one complaint about him instead of not recalling any complaints.

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11:20 a.m.

A witness has testified that autopsy photos showed Walter Scott's body showed signs of a struggle shortly before he was shot in the back and killed fleeing a traffic stop in South Carolina last year.

Former North Charleston patrolman Michael Slager is on trial for murder in the death of the 50-year-old Scott in a shooting captured on dramatic cellphone video that shocked the nation.

The defense on Tuesday called Dr. Thomas Owens, the chief medical examiner in Mecklenburg County, North Carolina, who testified that abrasions and bruises on Scott's hands, wrists, face and head were consistent with having been in a struggle. The jury was shown autopsy photos showing the injuries.

The defense has been building a case that Slager and Scott struggled over the officer's stun gun in the seconds before the shooting and that Slager was stunned by his own weapon.

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9:55 a.m.

A defense witness in the Michael Slager murder trial has testified that yellow paint found on the former South Carolina patrolman's Taser matches paint from an asphalt path through a vacant lot where a black motorist was shot.

Slager faces 30 years to life in prison if convicted in the April 2015 shooting death of Walter Scott as Scott fled a traffic stop.

William Schneck, a trace evidence expert, also testified on Tuesday that yellow paint was found on a cellphone that Scott was carrying. He said that also matched paint from the path which has been referred to in the trial as the yellow brick road.

The defense has been laying out a case that the two men wrestled for control of the Taser and that Slager was stunned by his own weapon in the seconds before the shooting.

Scott was shot five times in the back in a shooting captured on cellphone video that stunned the nation.

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4:15 a.m.

Defense attorneys plan to call the officer who was Michael Slager's immediate supervisor on the day last year when the South Carolina patrolman shot and killed an unarmed black motorist.

Slager, who is white and was fired from the North Charleston Police Department, faces 30 years to life if convicted of murder in the death of Walter Scott, who was shot while running from a traffic stop.

The defense continues its case Tuesday and plans to call North Charleston police Sgt. Ronald Webb. In pretrial hearings, defense attorney Andy Savage has raised the issue that North Charleston officers had monthly quotas to stop a certain amount of pedestrians and motorists.

The Scott shooting was captured on cellphone video that shocked the nation.

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This story has been corrected to reflect in the first item that supervisor recalled one complaint.

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This story has been corrected to ... Corrects in first item that supervisor recalls only one complaint. Links AP Photos.