With jury selection set for Oct. 31, Friday’s hearing was the last chance to raise legal issues. The defense team argues that Slager faces double jeopardy because the state and federal governments are prosecuting him for murder, said WFMY, a CBS News affiliate.
The lawyers allege on multiple occasions that state and federal prosecutors colluded on witness interviews, according to the Post and Courier.
Defense attorneys Andy Savage and Donald McCune wrote in the filing, via the Post and Courier:
“The double-teaming of Slager … is a chilling example of how far politically motivated politicians and prosecutors will go to seek headlines and feather their own nests at the expense of a public servant … who had to make a split-second life or death decision that will be second-guessed by comfortable armchair quarterbacks. This is unconscionable.”
Solicitor Scarlett Wilson of the 9th Circuit in Berkeley County, South Carolina, dismissed that argument.
“I reject the notion that this is a joint investigation. While certainly there has been cooperation between the two, we are running parallel,” she told the newspaper.
State Circuit Judge Clifton Newman declined on Friday to take up the defense’s motion to dismiss the case because prosecutors needed more time to prepare.
In the meantime, jury selection is expected to move forward.
Slager, 34, was filmed shooting Scott, 50, as he fled after an April 2015 traffic stop. The recording, captured on the mobile phone of a bystander, went viral.
The defense plans to argue that Slager acted in self-defense. He claims that Scott, who was unarmed, grabbed the former officer’s Taser in a scuffle, which caused Slager to shoot him. He fired eight times, hitting Scott five times from behind.