Mehserle Asks for New Trial

New evidence could make significant impact on the case, says his attorney.

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    TK
    AP
    Johannes Mehserle

    Johannes Mehserle, the former BART police officer convicted of involuntary manslaughter this summer, has asked the court for a new trial.

    Mehserle's attorney says the guilty verdict should be overturned, according to Los Angeles County Superior Court Documents.

    Mehserle killed 22-year-old Oscar Grant in the early hours of Jan 1, 2009, on the Fruitvale BART station platform. He claims he thought he was holding his taser and accidentally pulled the trigger of his gun instead. Mehserle was following up on a 911 call about a fight on the BART train when the shooting happened.

    He is currently being held without bail until sentencing.

    Michael Raines, attorney for Mehserle, filed a document claiming that the prosecution was “convincing but incorrect” when arguing that an accident such as this one had never occurred before. Rains referenced a Kentucky case where Lt. Billy Jones mistook his Taser and accidentally shot a man in the back in 2008:

    Grant's Uncle: Oscar Was Loved (RAW)

    [LA] Grant's Uncle: Oscar Was Loved (RAW)
    The uncle of Oscar Grant, Cephus Johnson, answers questions outside the trial of Johannes Mehserle.

    “Five times Mr. Stein told the jury that in a million Taser draws, an accident like the on Mehserle claimed had occurred here had never happened. The DA placed particular emphasis on the color, asking the jurors why the manufacturer made the Taser yellow, and then answered his own question: ‘They make it this color so that the officers can distinguish between the two,” the filing claimed.

    Rains has said that he did not believe the prosecution knew about the case in Kentucky. However, if the case was brought up, he claims that one of the jurors might have voted for an acquittal.

    Sentencing is set for Nov 5, where Superior Court Judge Robert Perry will rule on the new trial motion, according to a KTVU report.

    Mehserle could be sentenced anywhere from probation to 14 years in prison.