COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) - The Latest on a white police officer in South Carolina taking a plea deal for probation in the killing of a black driver (all times local):
The prosecutor who accepted a plea deal that gave no prison time for a white police officer in South Carolina who killed a black driver says it would have been tough to get a jury conviction.
Solicitor Donnie Myers told The Associated Press on Tuesday investigators couldn’t get a grand jury with its more favorable rules for prosecutors to agree on a voluntary manslaughter indictment.
Myers says that meant it would have been hard to get a unanimous verdict on a different felony charge from a regular jury.
Former North Augusta Police officer Justin Craven was sentenced to three years of probation and 80 hours of community service for killing 68-year-old Ernest Satterwhite in his driveway after a 13-minute police chase in February 2014.
To the white police officer and the judge, the shooting two years ago of a black driver after a chase was a split-second case of bad judgment not deserving of prison time.
To some African-Americans in South Carolina, the decision not to send former North Augusta police Officer Justin Craven to prison for killing 68-year-old Ernest Satterwhite in his driveway is an example of a judicial system that does not protect them from officers who go too far.
Craven shot Satterwhite in February 2014 after a 13-minute chase that started with an attempted drunken driving stop.
State Rep. Joe Neal calls the shooting a murder and says the judge and prosecutors helped Craven get away with just a slap on the wrist.
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