Mehserle in NorCal, will start looking for work

June 16, 2011 7:54:24 AM PDT
Former BART police officer Johannes Mehserle is spending time with his family this week after his release from jail for killing BART passenger Oscar Grant III, his attorney said Wednesday.

Mehserle, 29, was released from the Los Angeles County Men's Central Jail at about 12:30 a.m. Monday after serving a total of about a year in custody for his involuntary manslaughter conviction for killing Grant, a 22-year-old Hayward man, at the Fruitvale station in Oakland shortly after 2 a.m. on Jan. 1, 2009.

Mehserle "is glad to be out of custody and spending time with his family," Michael Rains, his lawyer, said.

Mehserle is now at an undisclosed location with his girlfriend and their 2 1/2-year-old son and will also be spending time with his parents, his sister and other family members, Rains said.

Rains said Mehserle will begin looking for a job next week but at this point he does not know what will materialize or where Mehserle will wind up living.

"Where he settles down depends on safety, security and job considerations," Rains said.

Mehserle shot Grant after he and other BART officers responded to reports that there had been a fight on a train.

In a highly-publicized trial that was moved to Los Angeles because of concerns about whether Mehserle could get a fair trial in Alameda County, Mehserle admitted that he shot and killed Grant but said he had meant to use his Taser on Grant and fired his service gun by mistake.

Alameda County prosecutors sought to have Mehserle convicted of second-degree murder, but in a verdict on July 8 that sparked a large protest in downtown Oakland, jurors only convicted Mehserle of the lesser charge of involuntary manslaughter.

On Nov. 5, Los Angeles County Superior Court Judge Robert Perry sentenced Mehserle to two years in custody. Mehserle was released after serving only one year because of credits he received.

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