CHARLESTON, S.C., Nov. 11 (UPI) -- A DNA expert has testified in the trial against former North Charleston, S.C., police officer Michael Slager, accused of murder for fatally shooting Walter Scott who was running away.
Slager's defense has told jurors Scott provoked Slager to shoot him because he resisted being restrained by a stun gun to the point a physical altercation occurred.
South Carolina Law Enforcement Division DNA expert Samuel Stewart testified on Thursday that Slagler's DNA was not found on Scott's fingernail, casting doubt on the extent of a physical struggle.
However, Stewart said that DNA was found on the Taser, which was a mixture both Scott and Slager's DNA, but was not enough to reach the scientific threshold to qualify either as the "major contributor."
Slager's defense had previously implied there was more of Scott's DNA than Slager's on the device, but Stewart said testing was inconclusive on which DNA was most prominent.
"You can still tell [Scott] contributed more than the other, correct?" one of Slager's defense attorneys asked .
"Not necessarily," Stewart said.
DNA from at least one source not belonging to Scott or Slager was found on three other areas of the Taser.
Prosecutors accuse Slager of dropping the Taser near Scott's body after the shooting in an attempt to stage a crime scene.
This week, several police officers testified saying they believed Slager and Scott were in a physical altercation. When one police witness was asked by the prosecution about whether Scott running away was de-escalating the situation, the witness agreed.
"Through the video," he said. "I would say [Scott] was de-escalating."
Chief Deputy Solicitor Bruce DuRant asked the same witness about Slager's police training.
"Was he trained by the North Charleston Police Department to shoot someone in the back while he's running away?" Chief Deputy Solicitor Bruce DuRant asked.
"No, sir," the witness replied.
Slager is facing a murder charge in the death of Scott, who was shot while fleeing from Slager after a traffic stop in North Charleston on April 4, 2015. Slager faces from 30 years to life imprisonment if convicted.
Ed Adamczyk contributed to this report.