Judge rules against first-degree Mehserle verdict

June 30, 2010 11:23:52 AM PDT
In Los Angeles, the judge in the BART shooting trial has a made a tentative ruling this morning that will play a critical role on what charges the jury will be allowed to consider.

Judge Robert Perry has now said jurors will not be asked to consider first degree murder charges against former BART police officer Johannes Mehserle. He says there is not enough evidence to show the shooting was pre-meditated. Mehserle shot and killed Oscar Grant on New Year's Day 2009 at the Fruitvale BART station.

The judge says the jury will most likely be able to consider a charge of second degree murder as well as the lesser charges of voluntary or involuntary manslaughter.

Again, the ruling is only tentative. The defense wants the jury to be allowed to consider only a murder charge or acquittal.

Closing statements are set to begin Thursday.

The jury is expected to begin deliberating on Friday.


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