Court upholds conviction in California subway shooting

Johannes Mehserle was convicted in a BART platform shooting death on New Year's Day 2009.

Story highlights

  • Johannes Mehserle was convicted in 2010 of killing an unarmed man
  • He was sentenced to two years in prison
  • The shooting has been controversial in California's Bay Area community

A state appeals court Friday upheld an involuntary manslaughter conviction against Johannes Mehserle, a former San Francisco Bay Area Rapid Transit police officer who shot and killed 22-year-old Oscar Grant in Oakland.

The appeal questioned some of the evidence and instructions that were given to the jury at Mehserle's 2010 trial.

"We disagree with defendant's contentions and affirm the judgment of conviction," wrote the three-judge panel of the First District Court of Appeal in San Francisco.

Mehserle was accused of fatally shooting Grant on New Year's Day 2009 on a platform of a Bay Area Rapid Transit station. Mehserle said at the trial that he intended to draw and fire his Taser rather than his gun.

He was sentenced to two years in prison for the involuntary manslaughter conviction, but was released last year because of a California law that allowed him to reduce his sentence to nearly a year.

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This case has been controversial in California's Bay Area community for years. The 2009 shooting was captured on a bystander's cellphone video camera. The video showed Mehserle pulling his gun and fatally shooting Grant in the back as another officer knelt on the unarmed man.

The video was widely circulated on the Internet and on news broadcasts, and it spurred several protests in and around Oakland.