Closing arguments set in trial in black motorist’s death

CHARLESTON, S.C. (AP) – After hearing from 55 witnesses over a month, a South Carolina jury is set to hear closing arguments in the Michael Slager murder trial.

Slager is the white former North Charleston patrolman charged in the shooting death of 50-year-old Walter Scott as the black motorist fled a traffic stop in April of last year. The shooting was captured on cellphone video. The 35-year-old Slager could be sentenced to 30 years to life if convicted.

A jury of 11 whites and one black will hear closing arguments Wednesday.

The prosecution contends there was no justification for shooting Scott five times in the back as he ran. The defense has argued, and the defendant himself testified, that Slager feared for his life when Scott wrestled with the officer and grabbed his Taser.

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