UPDATE: 7:54 p.m. EST — Michael Slager, who has been charged with murder for killing Walter Scott last April, posted bail and was released from jail Monday, the Charleston County Sheriff's Office said on Twitter.

Slager's bond was $500,000 and he must remain in South Carolina until his trial in October, a state judge ruled Monday.

Original Story:

The former South Carolina police officer who shot and killed Walter Scott last April was granted $500,000 bond Monday, the Charleston Post and Courier reported. Circuit Judge Clifton Newman granted bail for Slager, who has been charged with murder for killing Scott, and set a trial date of Oct. 31.

Under the terms of Slager’s bail, he must remain in South Carolina until the trail, will be held on house arrest and cannot contact Scott’s family. It was unclear Monday when Slager actually would be released. The Post and Courier initially reported that he had been freed at 5:23 p.m. EST, but the Charleston County Sheriff’s Office tweeted Monday evening that Slager was still in jail.


The granting of bail Monday marked a reversal from Newman’s decision in September to deny Slager bond after prosecutors argued he posed a danger to the community and constituted a flight risk. Since then, the South Carolina Supreme Court ordered that she could not try cases before the July trial of Dylann Roof, who is accused of killing nine black parishioners at a church in Charleston in June.

That order, the Post and Courier reported, is why Newman set Slager’s trial date for next October. Slager’s defense attorney argued that the trial delay would force his client to spend another 11 months in prison, and said the gluten-containing jail food had exacerbated Slager’s celiac disease.

In response, Newman agreed that keeping Slager in jail until October would amount to a punishment despite the fact that he is presumed innocent until proven guilty. When Slager’s family heard he would be granted bail, they gasped and cried in the Charleston courtroom, the Post and Courier reported.

Prosecutor Scarlett Wilson, who is also the prosecutor in the Roof case, reiterated her argument against bail Monday. “We believe the defendant remains, as the court found, a danger to the community and a flight risk,” she said, the Associated Press reported.

While Scott’s family was not happy with the ruling, their attorney urged the public to “be peaceful,” the Post and Courier reported. Scott’s father, Walter Scott Sr., asked the judge to keep Slager in jail Monday.

“I don’t think Mr. Slager had any remorse after watching that video,” he said, the Post and Courier reported. “Every time I look at it, it makes me cry. ... I feel he should stay where he’s at so he could feel the pain I feel.”

Scott’s death, which a bystander captured on video, came after Slager pulled him over, reportedly for a broken brake light. The graphic video footage brought attention last year to North Charleston and police officers’ use of force against black men. Residents protested after the footage became public, but demonstrations remained quieter than in other cities like Baltimore and Ferguson, Missouri.

The city of North Charleston fired Slager and approved a $6.5 million civil settlement with Scott’s family in October, the Associated Press reported. If convicted in this case, Slager faces 30 years to life without parole. The U.S. Justice Department has previously said it was looking into possible civil rights violations, but it remains unclear if federal officials will get involved.