Late Tuesday morning, word came that one of the jurors was sick and that deliberations would be suspended for the day. The judge won't replace the sick juror. Instead, the alternate juror will be used to take the place of the vacationing juror and deliberations will continue Wednesday.
The jury deliberated three hours Thursday before being released for the July 4 holiday weekend.
Former BART officer Mehserle is charged with killing Oscar Grant III on New Year's Eve 2009 at the Fruitvale BART station. He doesn't deny shooting Grant, but he says he mean to use his Taser to shoot Grant, not his handgun.
Jurors have three options for a conviction:
- Seond-degree murder would mean they believe Mehserle meant to kill Grant
- Voluntary manslaughter would mean they believe the killing was an unreasonable reaction to a perceived threat
- Involuntary manslaughter would mean they believe Mehserle acted with criminal negligence
Whatever the verdict, officials in Oakland are prepared for reaction from the public. Police and community leaders have been spreading the word to keep the peace on the streets.
San Francisco Police Chief George Gascon echoes that message of calm. He's holding a noon news conference to address concerns and announce drop-in locations for people to talk about their feelings and emotions about the heated case.