North Charleston Patrolman 1st Class Michael T. Slager will not face the possibility of the death penalty in connection with the shooting of Walter Scott, states the Charleston newspaper Post and Courier.
The circumstances don’t meet the criteria necessary under S.C. law, Charleston County’s chief prosecutor said Monday.
Some news outlets claimed that Slager would be eligible for the death penalty due to his crime.
Ninth Circuit Solicitor Scarlett Wilson said she carefully reviewed the state’s death penalty statute, which lists 22 aggravating circumstances that can trigger the state to seek lethal punishment. None applied in this case, she said.
Those offenses include murders committed during kidnapping, robbery, drug trafficking and a host of other circumstances.
“Under South Carolina law, this case is not death penalty-eligible,” said Wilson. Wilson’s office will be in charge of prosecuting Slager.
“There are aggravating circumstances which can take a murder case from being a maximum of life to death being the maximum sentence. None of those factors are present in this case,” said Wilson.