General Crime

* BART Police Officer Johannes Mehserle Sentenced to Two Years Prison for Oscar Grant Shooting

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A Los Angeles County Superior Court judge sentenced former BART police Officer Johannes Mehserle to two years in state prison today for involuntary manslaughter in the fatal shooting of unarmed passenger Oscar Grant III. A jury convicted him of involuntary manslaughter, with a gun enhancement, July 8 for the shooting death of Grant at the Fruitvale BART station in Oakland on Jan. 1, 2009. Mehserle, 28, resigned from BART a week after he shot Grant, a 22-year-old Hayward man. The former officer says he mistakenly used his gun instead of his Taser. Mehserle could have faced anything from probation up to 14 years in state prison. Before Perry sentenced Mehserle, he first ruled on a motion by Mehserle’s lawyer, Michael Rains, asking that Mehserle be granted a new trial. That motion was denied. Oakland police Chief Anthony Batts has said his department is prepared for any unrest that might occur following Mehserle’s sentencing. The trial was moved to Los Angeles due to concerns about the extensive media coverage in the Bay Area.

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