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Son seeks stiff penalty for South Carolina policeman who killed his father

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The son of a black South Carolina motorist killed by a white police officer as he fled a 2015 traffic stop asked a federal judge on Wednesday to sentence the former patrolman to life in prison for the death of his father.

“He murdered the one and only father I had,” Miles Scott, the 17-year-old son of Walter Scott, said in an emotional statement in U.S. District Court in Charleston.

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U.S. District Judge David Norton could decide as soon as Wednesday the punishment for former North Charleston police officer Michael Slager. Slager pleaded guilty in May to violating Walter Scott’s civil rights in the April 2015 shooting.

The case drew national attention after a bystander’s video of the shooting became public, fueling fresh concerns about how minorities are treated by police in the United States.

The video showed Slager firing his gun at 50-year-old Scott eight times as he ran from a traffic stop, hitting Scott five times from behind. Scott, who was pulled over for a broken brake light, was unarmed.

A state murder trial ended last December with a hung jury.

As part of the federal sentencing proceedings, Norton will decide whether Slager’s underlying crime was second-degree murder, as prosecutors contend, or voluntary manslaughter, which carries a lighter sentence.

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Prosecutors say the shooting was deliberate and calculated. The defense disagrees and their witnesses testified this week that enhanced images and audio from the video supported Slager’s account that he felt threatened after Scott tried to take his stun gun.

Miles Scott, the only son out of Walter Scott’s four children, said he missed his father so much it left him sleepless most nights.

“My dad will never see my future kids, his grandchildren, and I know he would have loved them as much as he loved me,” said the teenager, speaking softly. “I still can’t believe he’s gone.”

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(Reporting by Greg Lacour; Writing by Colleen Jenkins; Editing by Frances Kerry)


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Trump ignored aides’ advice before first Ukraine call — and it destroyed his impeachment defense: report

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President Donald Trump has repeatedly referred to himself as his own top advisor and a political "genius." But his interactions with Ukraine at the heart of the impeachment inquiry could demonstrate the limitations of such an approach to governing.

Friday's bombshell, behind-closed-door testimony from David Holmes has made White House aides unhappy, but the bad news for the administration did not stop there.

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‘Aides to the president are not happy’ Gordon Sondland held the phone up in restaurant: CNN’s Jim Acosta

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CNN White House correspondent Jim Acosta reported on Friday that White House aides are unhappy with Ambassador Gordon Sondland for holding up a call with Trump in a restaurant for multiple witnesses to listen.

The details were revealed in bombshell closed-door testimony before Congress on Friday.

Acosta noted the administration was trying to downplay the significance of the call.

"But I will tell you, that the aides of the president are not happy that Gordon Sondland apparently held the phone up so other aides could hear what was going on and the words of the source familiar with the conversations inside the White House, the president speaks loudly, Sondland should know that," Acosta reported.

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David Holmes’ opening statement to Congress directly implicated Donald Trump: report

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Congress will hear first-hand testimony of President Donald Trump's involvement in the Ukraine scandal.

"David Holmes, the state department aide who overheard President Donald Trump's conversation with the US ambassador to the European Union Gordon Sondland, said that Sondland told Trump that the Ukranian President would do 'anything you ask him to,' and that he confirmed the Ukrainians were going to 'do the investigation,'" CNN reported Friday.

""Sondland told Trump that (Ukrainian President Volodymyr) Zelensky 'loves your ass,'" Holmes testified. "I then heard President Trump ask, 'So, he's gonna do the investigation?' Ambassador Sondland replied that 'he's gonna do it,' adding that President Zelensky will do 'anything you ask him to.'"

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