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Pastimes : Michael Slager, what's the truth?

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From: LindyBill12/26/2016 2:40:57 PM
   of 142 Newsmakers: Scarlett Wilson and Andy Savage
Angie Jackson

For a month, two opposing lawyers and their teams squared off in a Charleston County courtroom and fought over the fate of former North Charleston police officer Michael Slager.

The nation looked on as 9th Circuit Solicitor Scarlett Wilson, lead prosecutor, and Andy Savage, lead defense attorney, set out to convince 12 jurors of their differing views on whether the white ex-cop committed a crime when he shot and killed Walter Scott, a fleeing black man. The exhaustive murder trial grew contentious at times, with the lawyers going head-to-head.

Ultimately, the high-stakes case that was launched by a bystander's video resulted in a mistrial, putting Wilson and Savage back at square one. “There will be another day,” Wilson said in vowing to retry Slager, who also faces a federal civil rights trial, anticipated for the spring. She will again take up the tall task of trying to win a conviction against a police officer who used deadly force in the line of duty.

Savage, a prominent attorney who has represented his share of high-profile clients, said many in the legal community turned against him when he took on Slager's case after the video surfaced. He poured hundreds of thousands of his own dollars into trying to convince jurors to see his side: that the officer acted in self-defense in a stressful situation.

Scott's death happened amid a national conversation about police use of force against black people. There's no doubt the community and the country will be watching closely when Wilson and Savage meet again in court.

Reach Angie Jackson at 843-937-5705. Follow her on Twitter at @angiejackson23.

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