Mehserle Could Be Out on Bail by Christmas

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    NEWSLETTERS

    AP
    Johannes Mehserle hopes to be out on bail by Christmas

    Former BART police officer Johannes Mehserle will be back in court in a couple weeks and his lawyer says he hopes the hearing will end with his client being released on bail.

    Attorney Michael Rains told NBC Bay Area that Superior Court Judge Robert Perry will hear his argument on Friday, Dec 3.  Rains said he believes Mehserle has a right to have bail set and to be released while the appeal process moves forward.

    Last month Mehserle was sentenced to two years in prison for involuntary manslaughter in the death of unarmed passenger Oscar Grant nearly two years ago.  

    No one knows if Perry will agree with Rains' argument.

    Rains said if Perry sides with him, he would then set a bail amount which would have to be posted before Mehserle is set free.  That could technically happen on the same day of the hearing Dec. 3.

    The San Francisco Chronicle notes that under California law, a defendant who seeks release on bail after being convicted of a felony must show he is not likely to flee and is not a danger to the community.  The judge must also find that the defendant isn't using the appeal as a delay tactic.

    Even if the judge rules against Rains, with credit for time served, Mehserle could be eligible for parole in seven months.