The attorneys in the murder trial of former BART police Officer Johannes Mehserle, who fatally shot unarmed passenger Oscar Grant III, began presenting their closing arguments today and will conclude their arguments on Friday.
Mehserle’s lawyer, Michael Rains, has admitted Mehserle shot and killed Grant, a 22-year-old Hayward man, at the Fruitvale station in Oakland shortly after 2 a.m. Jan. 1, 2009, after he and other officers responded to a report that there was a fight on a train.
But Rains claims the shooting was an accident and Mehserle, 28, who is free on $3 million bail, meant to use his Taser stun gun on Grant.
Los Angeles County Superior Court spokesman Allan Parachini said prosecutor David Stein presented the first part of his closing argument this morning, and Rains presented his argument this afternoon.
Rains will conclude his argument Friday morning, and then Stein will give his rebuttal argument.
After that, Judge Robert Perry will give the jury legal instructions, which are expected to be lengthy. Jurors are expected to begin deliberating before the end of the day Friday.
Parachini said that once the jury gets the case it will deliberate from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. five days a week except for next Monday, which is a court holiday.
On Wednesday, Perry said jurors will have the option of convicting Mehserle of second-degree murder or the lesser charges of voluntary manslaughter and involuntary manslaughter. Jurors will also have the option of finding Mehserle not guilty of all charges.