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Ex-BART officer must remain in prison during appeal

December 3, 2010 |  4:03 pm

A Los Angeles County Superior Court judge ruled Friday that a former Bay Area Rapid Transit police officer convicted of involuntary manslaughter in the shooting of an unarmed man on an Oakland train station platform should remain behind bars while he appeals his conviction.

Judge Robert J. Perry denied a bail motion filed by the defense, telling attorneys that he believed the evidence showed that Johannes Mehserle acted with gross negligence in the New Year’s Day 2009 shooting of Oscar Grant III, 22.

Grant was struck once in the back as he lay face down on the BART station platform in a shooting captured on video by several train passengers.

Mehserle, 28, testified that he meant to use his Taser as he struggled to handcuff Grant but mistakenly grabbed his pistol. He was sentenced to two years in prison and is expected to be freed in about six months.

The criminal case against Mehserle was moved to downtown Los Angeles amid concern about the extensive media coverage of the killing in the Bay Area.

-- Jack Leonard

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