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CHARLESTON, S.C. (AP) — The jury in the murder trial of a white former South Carolina patrolman who shot an unarmed black motorist saw a bystander's dramatic cellphone video of the shooting frame by frame Tuesday.
The judge later ruled, after hours of arguments between attorneys with the jury out of the courtroom, that the prosecution may present its final witness — a crime scene re-creator who has put together an animation of the fatal shooting of Walter Scott.
The video, which shows the 50-year-old motorist being shot five times in the back as he ran from a traffic stop, stunned the nation and was shared worldwide on the internet.
Former North Charleston patrolman Michael Slager faces 30 years to life if the jury hearing the trial agrees with the prosecution that the death was murder.
Prosecution witness Anthony Imel, a forensic video analyst who works at the FBI lab in Quantico, Virginia, testified Monday and the jury was shown enhanced footage he made from the video taken the day the motorist was shot.
The prosecution made available photo enlargements from the video portraying key moments of the struggle between the two men.
On Tuesday, defense attorney Andy Savage asked Imel why photos of other important moments, including the confrontation between Slager and Scott, were not produced. Imel said he produced 418 still images from the video footage but not all were introduced into evidence by the prosecution.
The defense contends that Slager shot Scott after Scott wrestled with the officer and got control of his stun gun.
All the video, including that which Imel enhanced, was introduced by the defense on Tuesday after sections of the video were played frame by frame. Savage said he wanted the jury to be able to see what was not presented Monday.
Later, Circuit Judge Anthony Newman ruled that Bill Williams of Georgetown, South Carolina, who runs a company that performs video enhancement and does crime scene recreations, could testify for the prosecution.
With the jury out of the courtroom for four hours, Williams — who is largely self-taught about computers, video and crime scene recreations — was called to the stand as attorneys questioned him about his credentials. The defense argued he lacked the formal training to be qualified as an expert witness.
Williams' animation blends drone footage of the scene with the bystander's video, dashcam video and audio of the police calls to create a timeline of the shooting.
Newman ruled after seeing the animation that the witness could testify about the animation but not about Slager's Taser and its use in the incident. The jury will view the animation as the defense closes its case Wednesday.
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