CHARLESTON, S.C., Nov. 3 (UPI) -- The murder trial of former Charleston police officer Michael Slager began with opening arguments on Thursday.
Prosecutors began by arguing that Slager, 34, acted with malice when he opened fire on driver Walter Scott after a traffic stop in April 2015. Scott had been stopped for a broken tail light, but ran away from the vehicle in the middle of the confrontation.
"An unarmed man shot eight times. Eight times," prosecutor Scarlett Wilson said during Thursday's arguments.
Wilson added that Slager lied when he claimed Scott had taken his stun gun from him, and that the officer planted the stun gun near Scott's body after he'd been shot.
"It was wrong," she said.
In his opening argument, defense attorney Andy Savage said Slager didn't know whether Scott might be armed because he ran away before the officer could frisk him. Savage also maintained that Scott took Slager's stun gun.
After opening arguments, the defense called their first witnesses -- Scott's son, co-worker and passenger in his vehicle when he was stopped.
Testimony is expected to continue Friday.
The trial began after attorneys finally decided on a jury late Wednesday when prosecutors dropped their legal challenge to the defense's dismissal of seven minority potential jurors.
The final primary jury consists of six white men, five white women and one black man.
Savage had tried to get the trial moved to a more rural county in South Carolina, citing media saturation of the cellphone video as an unfair element that could work against Slager.
Earlier this week, Slager's attorneys argued that the video is misleading and "unreliable" because it doesn't show the entire confrontation.
The judge, however, said the 12 primary jurors and six alternates are able to set aside their knowledge of the case and be impartial. The alternates consist of two white men, two white women and two black women.