Mehserle's First Day of Freedom

Ex-BART police officer hopes to be able to live in the Bay Area.

By Lori Preuitt
|  Monday, Jun 13, 2011  |  Updated 9:13 PM PDT
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Johannes Mehserle Protest Stays Peaceful

AP

Johannes Mehserle was released from jail at 12:01 a.m. Monday.

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Former BART Cop Released From Jail

A former San Francisco BART officer is out of jail after serving one year of a two-year sentence in the deadly shooting of an unarmed man. His attorney says precautions were taken before Johannes Mesherle's release Sunday night, because there were too many safety concerns to simply let him out of jail.

Mehserle Case: Oscar Grant's Uncle Receives Call

Bobby Johnson, Oscar Grant's uncle, reacts after receiving a call notifying him of Johannas Mehserle's release from jail.
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Since walking out of a Los Angeles jail at 12:01 a.m. Monday, Johannes Mehserle has been reunited with his son and girlfriend, had his first non-jail meal and most importantly to him, stayed out of the way of any television cameras.

Rains said Mehserle is "delighted to be out of jail," adding that one of the things he is happiest about is not having to eat jail food anymore.

Mehserle was released from custody after serving the legally allotted time for the shooting death of Oscar Grant, an unarmed BART passenger.  Grant's family are outraged by his release, saying a year long sentence was not enough time.

A close friend told NBC Bay Area's Jodi Hernandez that Sunday night was a sleepless night for many of those close to Mehserle. He said that Mehserle "is one of the nicest and well mannered people I know."

Mehserle's lawyer, Michael Rains, would not disclose where Mehserle was on Monday, but he said the former police officer is safe and enjoying the company of his family.

Rains said Mehserle hopes to be able to live in the Bay Area now that he is a free man.  Rains said the Bay Area has always been home to Mehserle and he hopes to be able to make it his home once again.

"He is going to get a job and he is going to remain gainfully employed to support his family which is what he was doing when this terrible event occurred. Exactly what that job he takes and where he takes it is a little up in the air right now," Rains said. Rains said Mehserle would look for jobs in retail or sales.

A Southern California jury convicted Mehserle of involuntary manslaughter last July. With conduct credits, he completed the imposed sentence on June 12, according to the court.

"In my opinion he spent far too much time. In my opinion he didn't commit a crime because he made a tragic mistake and that negates the existence of a crime. In my opinion, serving one day was one day too many. I think he has more than paid the price for making a mistake," Rain said.

Mehserle is now on parole. He will not be assigned a parole officer because he is considered low risk.

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