Anna Nicole Judge Gets BART Trial

By Olsen Ebright
|  Wednesday, Dec 2, 2009  |  Updated 2:45 PM PDT
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Mehserle Testimony Impacts Families

A petition submitted by ColorofChange.org alleges that BART officer Tony Pirone "appears to have committed a serious crime" by punching Grant, a 22-year-old Hayward man, shortly before officer Johannes Mehserle shot and killed Grant at the Fruitvale station in Oakland early on New Year's Day.

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Oscar Grant's Killer to Stand Trial for Murder

An Alameda County Superior Court judge has ruled there is enough evidence to have former BART police officer Johannes Mehserle stand trial on a murder charge for fatally shooting Oscar Grant III.

New Tape Emerges in Mehserle Case

A new tape emerged on Tuesday in the case of the officer who shot and killed Oscar Grant at a BART station in Oakland.
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Los Angeles judge Robert Perry will preside over the murder trial of a former BART police officer accused of killing an unarmed passenger.

This isn't Perry's first time in the national judicial spotlight.   Perry, who's also an author, presided over the Anna Nicole Smith trial -- though not be confused with Judge Larry Seidlin, known for his pithy one-liners and occasional crying.

Perry did his best to bring seriousness back to the Anna Nicole proceedings.   "I don't want to sensationalize this hearing any more than it has already been sensationalized," he said earlier this year.

That professionalism will come in handy as he presides over the highly anticipated BART shooting trial.

BART officer Johannes Mehserle, 27, is accused of fatally shooting Oscar Grant III, a 22-year-old Hayward man, on a transit platform on New Year's Day.  Mehserle's lawyer says he meant to use his Taser, but pulled the trigger of his gun instead.

The trial was moved to Los Angeles because of "a high degree of political turmoil," according to Alameda County Superior Court Judge Morris Jacobson.   Near riots broke out in Oakland in the early weeks of the case.

Lynn Holton, a spokeswoman for the San Francisco-based state Judicial Council, told Bay City News that "Perry, a judge since 1992, is known for his experience in presiding over high-profile criminal cases. Before becoming a judge, Perry worked in private law practice and for the U.S. Department of Justice."

The trial is not expected to begin until late 2010.

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