Jury selection begins this week in the highly anticipated trial of a former BART police officer accused of killing an unarmed passenger on New Year's Eve night a year and a half ago. Due to pre-trial publicity, the trial is being held in Los Angeles. It's expected to last about a month.
Johannes Mehserle is accused of killing Oscar Grant on a Fruitvale BART platform early Jan. 1, 2009. Grant was being detained at the time after reportedly taking part in a fight on the train on it's way back from San Francisco.
The trial is expected to center of six cell phone videos taken that night that show Mehserle shooting Grant. There is also a never before seen surveillance camera video that will be played at the trial.
Mehserle has said he thought he was using his Taser when he shot Grant.
In a pre-trial motion, Merserle's lawyer, Michael Rains wrote, "So, the relevant question in this case turns out to be very simple: Can the state supply proof beyond a reasonable doubt that Mehserle formed an intent to use the gun as opposed to his Taser. (Mehserle's) defense will rather be that he believed Grant might be armed, that Grant continued to resist, and that (Mehserle) properly concluded the appropriate response was to use his Taser."
Whether the jury believes that will be the key to their verdict in the case.
The list of potential jurors will begin reporting to court Wednesday.
Opening statements are tentatively scheduled for June 10.