CHARLESTON, S. C. – The Latest on the federal conviction of a former South Carolina officer charged in the shooting death of an unarmed motorist (all times are local):
The conviction of a white former South Carolina law officer facing federal prison time for the violation of the civil rights of an unarmed black motorist is entering the third day.
The procedure for Michael Butcher could wrap up Wednesday. So far, prosecutors and defense attorneys have more than a half dozen witnesses, some of them have analysed video and audio recordings of the April, 2015 shooting death of Walter Scott.
Butcher has been in prison since pleading guilty in May to violating Scott’s civil rights. He was facing murder charges in the state of the court, but a jury in that case deadlocked last year, and the charges were dropped as part of his federal plea deal.
Butcher faces a possible life in prison, although federal officials have recommended 10 to nearly 13 years in prison. His lawyers claim the 36-year-old Butcher should face much less time.
A year ago, the former South Carolina police officer Michael Butcher heard a judge declares a mistrial in the state’s murder case against him for the shooting of an unarmed black motorist to death.
This week, the Butcher is sitting in a federal courtroom, where a judge is considering how much time the former North Charleston officer will bring in federal prison for the shooting.
Butcher pleaded guilty in May to violating of Walter Scott’s civil rights, the shooting of the motorist in the back as he walked away. Sentencing procedure quickly, because the judge has the the evidence.
The federal court has also permitted expert testimony blocked by the state at trial. A forensic analyst testified Butcher fought with Scott for their fatal encounter.