Ex-officer Michael Slager argues he’s broke, asks for public defender

CHARLESTON, SC (WCBD/AP) — The former South Carolina police officer charged with killing an unarmed black man running from a traffic stop has asked a judge to allow a publicly funded lawyer to represent him.

News outlets report Michael Slager made that request Tuesday during a hearing in Charleston. Circuit Court Judge Clifton Newman says he’ll issue a ruling later.

Slager says his family of five lives under the poverty line.

Also on Tuesday, a motion was filed to drop the murder charge to manslaughter.

Slager was fired and charged with murder in the fatal shooting of Walter Scott following an April 2015 traffic stop in North Charleston.

Slager’s first trial ended in a hung jury. Prosecutors have said they would retry him, and that’s set for August.

Savage still represents Slager in federal court, where he’ll be tried on civil rights charges in May.