Day 12 of testimony in Slager Trial

Jan 17, 2017

Expert William Schneck compared/matched paint particles found on Slager's taser to those from the road at the crime scene.
Credit Grace Beahm/Post and Courier via Pool

Defense attorneys are calling experts for the third day in the case of Michael Slager. The former North Charleston cop on is on trial for the murder of Walter Scott. In April 2015, a bystander captured cell phone video of Slager shooting Scott after he fled a traffic stop.

The defense called William Schneck, a trace evidence and crime scene reconstruction expert. He testified that paint from a road at the crime scene, which was painted yellow. Schneck found that paint from the road matched the particles found on Walter Scott’s phone and Slager’s Taser.

“Could very well have been on the ‘yellow brick road’ because the paints were identical in chemistry,” Schneck said.

Judy Scott, Walter’s mother, testified earlier in the trial she had been on the phone with him during the traffic stop.  She said she heard the officer giving instructions to get on the ground and put his hands behind his back. She remembered tell him to listen to the police. She recounted Scott yell, “They tasing me.” Then she said, “I heard him groaning like he was excruciating pain.”

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Thomas Owens is a forensic pathologist and medical examiner. He is testifying about photos of Walter Scott’s hands taken from crime scene. Pointing to abrasions on Scott’s hands Owens says he can tell Scott’s, “hand has come in contact with something that is rough…pulled tissue away from the surface.”

Autopsy photos of Scott’s right arm and chest .“surface of skin scraped cut or rubbed away on the back side of the arm.”

Owens was able to reach the conclusion that the wounds on Scott’s body came shortly before death.

“Could clearly be signs that there was some disturbance in all those different areas…could be consistent with some type of a struggle.”

The defense contends that Scott and Slager got into a ground fight where Scott gained control of the officer’s Taser.

“Asphalt is a rough surface that would cause scraping or rubbing of the skin and produce the abrasions.”