East Bay News

Bail motion denied for Johannes Mehserle

Friday, December 03, 2010
Former BART officer Johannes Mehserle Dean Johnson

A judge denied a motion to grant bail for former BART officer Johannes Mehserle who was convicted of involuntary manslaughter in the shooting death of Oscar Grant on New Year's Day 2009.

The family of Oscar Grant called it small consolation that Johannes Meheserle was denied bail by a Los Angeles judge.

A jury convicted Mehserle of involuntary manslaughter for the January 2009 shooting of the unarmed grant at the Fruitvale BART station.

"We just feel a little relief because it's not over with because it's not finished yet. We're still fighting. We're still going to keep on fighting," Grant's uncle Kenneth Johnson said.

Grant's family still believes Mehserle's involuntary manslaughter conviction represents a gross miscarriage of justice, as do the demonstrators who appeared outside of court.

In denying the former BART officer's bail motion, Judge Robert Perry conceded there could have been errors made at trial, but did not think they would likely result in a reversal of Merhserle's conviction.

"I think that this is an issue of first impression. What the judge did in its instruction was give this jury a path to convict Mr. Mehserle for conduct that is never been declared by any court in the state to be criminal," Mehserle's attorney Michael Rains said.

Of his initial two-year prison sentence, with credit for time served and good behavior, Mehserle has just six month left to serve. Rains wants his client to stay in the Los Angeles County Jail, where he's been safely housed for the past five months, but Grant's family thinks Mehserle should go to state prison.

"The question now remains, will he go to prison? The state law states that he should, but again we're dealing with a criminal racist system that will probably keep him right here in LA County," Grant's uncle Cephus Johnson said.

Rains says his client is ready to serve out his time, wherever it is.

"He said to me, 'Mike there is a light at the end of the tunnel, whether or not the judge grants this motion and the light is, that I will be out and I will see my son by next year,'" he said.

Mehserle has a son that was born the day after Oscar Grant was killed. Mehserle is currently in LA County Jail and officials will meet to discuss if he will the remainder of his sentence in Southern California or whether he is going to be transfered to a prision. He will most likely finish his sentence in May.

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Tags:
johannes mehserle, oscar grant, BART, oakland, east bay news, laura anthony
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