fatally shooting Oscar Grant
at BART station in 2009, was hoping the courts would clear his name and he could go back to working in law enforcement.
But his dreams were shattered today when a three-panel Appeals Court upheld his felony conviction of involuntary manslaughter. As we told SF Weekly readers
last month, Mehserle had asked the courts to overturn this conviction, arguing that he made a terrible error, but not one for which he should be prosecuted.
However, the court upheld the conviction, saying there was enough evidence to prove that Mehserle had acted with "gross negligence." For starters, the handgun was black and weighed three times more than the yellow
stun gun, the justices said
"A reasonable jury could conclude a reasonably prudent person would
have known he was holding his deadly handgun and not his nonlethal
Taser," Presiding Justice James Marchiano said in the 3-0 ruling.Mehserle was convicted in 2010
of shooting Grant on Jan. 1, 2009, after Grant was pulled from the BART train.
Mehserle says he didn't mean to shoot Grant, who was unarmed and lying
face down on the Fruitvale BART platform when he was killed. Mehserle
argued in court that he meant to grab for his Taser, but accidentally
pulled out his gun and fired one shot in Grant's back, killing him
The shooting was recorded by other BART passengers, which was
used as evidence in his trial.
A jury acquitted Mehserle of murder, but convicted him of involuntary manslaughter. He served only 11 months of his two-year sentence, and was released last year on good behavior.Follow us on Twitter at @TheSnitchSF and @SFWeekly
Johannes Mehserle, the former BART cop who spent nearly a year in prison for